After dreams of La Decima took more than a tumble on Wednesday night, Real Madrid would probably prefer to not be playing their increasingly noisy neighbors on Saturday evening.
Not since 1999 have Atletico Madrid beaten their fellow city dwellers, but once again there is renewed optimism for them to believe this weekend could be the one.
Atleti have occupied the second spot in La Liga for most of the season, until Los Blancos recently jumped ahead of them.
The gap is just three points, and a win for Diego Simeone and his men would leave them separated only by the head-to-head record between the two teams—Real won 2-0 at the Bernabeu in December.
There will be intriguing battles all over the pitch and on the touchline. Here are some to watch out for in this weekend's Madrid derby.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 31 goals in La Liga. There's just two teams that have conceded less than that amount this season.
Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
It's the side from the Vicente Calderon who boast the meanest back line, conceding 25 in comparison to Los Blancos' 30.
Diego Godin and Miranda have formed the partnership in the center of defense which has allowed Los Rojiblancos to establish such a solid backbone.
Juanfran—who will likely be directly paired against Ronaldo—and Filipe Luis have been ever reliable full-backs, and Thibaut Courtois a safe pair of hands behind them.
Barcelona and Real Madrid might have fared better in this week's Champions League ties with that quintet.
Inside the Vicente Calderon on Saturday, though, Ronaldo will look to put them to the sword.
Two players who play old-fashioned roles—with a modern twist—going toe-to-toe should provide a great spectacle at the Vicente Calderon.
Radamel Falcao is Atleti's talisman and Sergio Ramos' reputation as both a leader and a tough center-half for Real Madrid and Spain is more than deserved.
At 27, both are at the peak of their powers, and each will be keen to get the better of the other on Saturday evening in the Spanish capital.
Ramos has the height advantage but Falcao has a tendency to pop up in areas when you least expect him to—hence being nicknamed El Tigre.
The Real Madrid defender may have been disappointed to be shifted to right-back against Borussia Dortmund. He'll look to compensate for it with a strong performance in El Derbi.
After having his yellow card rescinded from last week's win over Sevilla, Diego Costa is clear to start the Madrid derby.
It's pretty much a fact that where Costa goes, trouble tends to follow—he's like La Liga's answer to Luis Suarez.
When Real Madrid turn up to the Vicente Calderon, he's bound to get up to mischief.
He's already picked up nine yellow cards this season in the league and one more in the Europa League, where he also saw red for a headbutt against Viktoria Plzen.
Ever ready to wind up opponents or feign injury, the Brazilian puts it down to his days playing football when he was younger:
"On the pitch I fought with everyone, I couldn't control myself. I insulted everyone, I had no respect for the opposition, I thought I had to kill them.”
There's also a talented footballer in there too. He's contributed seven goals and six assists in the Primera Division this season and you can expect to see both sides of Diego Costa on Saturday evening.
It doesn't seem that long since Jose Mourinho was the new manager on the block.
Rustling the feathers of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in England, the Portuguese coach brought a new, stylish approach to the job.
Mourinho, through success with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, is tried and tested now. Now, his challenges come from new managers, new thinkers.
And it's another up-and-coming manager who will hope to get the better of him in the Madrid derby.
Diego Simeone has added consistency to Atletico Madrid, produced the best defense in La Liga and will be keen to pit his wits against Mourinho on Saturday.