Real Madrid host Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in a tie that could define this season’s La Liga title race tomorrow night. Los Blancos sit top of the table heading into the game, ten points clear of Los Rojiblancos, Spain’s defending champions.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have simply looked better than everyone else so far this year. They beat Sevilla in Madrid two weeks ago and followed that up with a ballsy 2-0 win at Real Sociedad, before securing top spot in their Champions League group courtesy of their defeat of Internazionale during the week.
Atletico are living a very different moment. They scraped through to the last 16 of the Champions League by the skin of their teeth, beating Porto late on and being helped out by Milan’s inability to defeat Liverpool at San Siro the same night. Domestically, they’ve looked uncertain, a shadow of the side that won the 2020/21 title.
Madrid are expected to set up in a 4-3-3, with Thibaut Courtois starting in goal behind a back four of Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy. Casemiro will sit in midfield, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos either side of him. Karim Benzema will lead the line, flanked by Vinicius and Marco Asensio.
Atletico are expected to set up in a 3-5-2, with Jan Oblak starting in goal behind a back three of Felipe, Mario Hermoso and Geoffrey Kondogbia. Rodrigo de Paul, Koke and Thomas Lemar will play centrally, flanked by Marcos Llorente and Yannick Carrasco. Matheus Cunha and Antoine Griezmann will lead the line.