Diego Simeone’s side hold a six point-lead over Los Blancos going into the encounter and have a game in hand, putting them in an incredibly strong position early in the standings.
Whilst Atleti have won eight of their 10 league clashes so far this season, conceding just two goals in the process, their excellent run of form domestically stretches all the way back to last season, with Marca now looking ahead to the derby in Real Madrid news.
Indeed, their last league defeat came in the Madrid derby all the way back on 1 February, when Madrid edged out their neighbours 1-0 thanks to a Karim Benzema goal, but La Liga news has changed significantly since.
Madrid face the possibility of slipping nine points off the pace at the top of the league should they fall to defeat at Atleti.
Zidane told his pre-match press conference, in quotes carried by Marca: “Yes, of course they are a favourite for the league, you can see that by what they are showing on the pitch now. Today they are first and they have always been a competitive team. We know the rival.”
The Frenchman was then asked what aspects of coaching he would take from his rival Simeone, but he remained coy about the issue.
Zidane added: “Each one has his own things, and it is what it is. I cannot be someone else. When I took my coaching course, many times I was told that it had to be me and yes, each one has their defects and their qualities. He is a great coach and I try to do my job as I can.”