La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020
Real Madrid will be aiming to move six points clear at the top of the La Liga table on Saturday as they take on their city rivals Atletico in the Madrid derby.
Los Blancos have had a season that is seemingly full of problems, but they are on a rich run of form right now. They have won seven straight games in all competitions. This run which has included league wins over Sevilla and Real Valladolid – combined with Barcelona losing 2-0 at Valencia last weekend – has combined to allow Real Madrid to move to the top of the table over the Catalan giants.
The run of wins has also included silverware for Los Blancos, with Real beating this Atletico team on penalties to win the Spanish Super Cup earlier this month.
The form matchup between the two sides is a surprising one. Five of the last six league matches have ended in draws, while Real have not beaten Atletico on home soil since way back in December 2012. They are two factors to consider for your BetXChange wager if you like historical trends.
Atletico are in far worse form than their city rivals having not won in four games in all competitions. Their last win was over Barcelona in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup. There is a loss to Eibar in the league included in that run, while their match against Leganes last weekend ended in a 0-0 draw. Despite this, they are only two points off of Sevilla who sit in third place in the La Liga table.
There was some thought that Eden Hazard would be back in the Real Madrid squad for this match but he has not been named in the squad. Hazard has been out of action since November and he is not quite ready for a return. Other notable omissions from Zinedine Zidane’s squad include Gareth Bale and Rodrygo.
This means that the usually potent Real attack will have some depth issues for this match. With Marco Asensio also not part of the squad, the only players with attacking intent in the lineup are Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Junior, and Luka Jovic. One of these will have to score goals on Saturday.
Atletico fans will be disappointed to hear that record signing Joao Felix will miss out on this clash with a muscle injury that he pocked up last weekend. Attacking options are more limited too by the fact that Diego Costa is also still not ready to make his return.
Some good news for Atletico fans is that winger Yannick Carrasco could feature in some way after returning from a two-year spell in China with Dalian Yifang. His return to Madrid is a welcome boost to the squad as they look to push on during the stretch run of the season.
These are the two best defensive teams in the league and when that is combined with Real’s attacking issues and Atletico having the fifth-worst attack in the league it looks like a low scoring game is likely. Atletico’s ability to draw with their rival certainly makes the 2.59 bet look good, while a goal total of under 1.5 (so a 1-0 win either way) at 2.08 is also interesting.