Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Prediction, Live Stream Info for Madrid Derby

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Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Prediction, Live Stream Info for Madrid Derby
Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press
Cristiano Ronaldo will hope to continue his rich vein of goalscoring form.

Atletico Madrid play host to neighbours Real Madrid on Sunday in an "El Derbi" clash that could go some way to determining the destination of the league title.

Just three points currently separate the cross town rivals, with Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos being forced to play catch up.

Traditionally a fiery affair with cards brandished far too readily by the officials, the tension surrounding this one indicates that it will be no different to any other matchup between the two.

Can Carlo Ancelotti's rampant La Liga leaders put some daylight between themselves and their opponents, or will the home side snatch a win that will draw them level again at the top?

 

When: Sunday March 2, 11 a.m. ET

Sunday March 2, 4 p.m. GMT

Where: Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain

Watch: beIN Sports, beIN SPORTS Play, Sky Sports 4, Sky Go app

 

Key Storylines

Frank Augstein/Associated Press/Associated Press
Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are in sensational form at the moment.

Unbeaten in 27 games in all competitions, Real Madrid are enjoying incredible form at the moment.

Their run is due in no small part to the "BBC"—Bale, Benzema and Cristiano—and for the hosts to have any hope of success in this game, the Real attack must be kept under wraps throughout. 

No easy task when you consider just how well each player is playing individually and collectively at present. 

Two goals from each in the 6-1 midweek win against Schalke has already made the second leg of that Champions League tie a formality.

Xabi Alonso told reporters after the game (h/t Yahoo/Eurosport):

We have a lot of potential up front. We create a lot of chances and it's good news that the three forwards are fired up.

Sunday's game is very important for us and it is going to be very tough.

We are confident but we know that each match is a different story. If we don't go out with the same focus as today any team is capable of giving us a scare.

A win for Real would take them six points clear of an Atletico side who would be hard pressed to close that deficit in the remaining games.

The league win for the mattress makers at the Santiago Bernabeu back in September, followed a Copa Del Rey triumph at the same venue, against the same opposition.

It gave Atleti's supporters genuine hopes that their suffering at the hands of Real, stretching back to 1999, was well and truly over.

However, this has been tempered by the manner of the two recent losses in the Copa Del Rey, by an aggregate of 5-0.

At the heart of the Atleti defence, Miranda and Diego Godin will have their work cut out to avoid a repeat of the last result but fellow defender Juanfran remains confident ahead of the match.

He told Atleti's official website, (h/t Yahoo/Eurosport):

We are keen to prepare the match well and if we beat Madrid things will be different.

We are playing at our stadium, where we are unbeaten (in La Liga this season) and I am convinced we will play a good match and win.


Although Atleti's two main attacking protagonists David Villa and Diego Costa were absent from the most recent loss against Real, nothing should be taken away from the quality of Los Blancos' performances in both legs.

Atleti never looked in the tie at any point and Diego Simeone must come up with a solution to curtail Real's attacking excellence, whilst also ensuring their miserly defence are breached.

In the last 12 games in all competitions, Carlo Ancelotti's side have conceded just four goals, per WhoScored.

 

Prediction

It's fair to suggest that, at this point, Atleti's season hangs on the outcome of this game.

As such, you'd imagine that the temptation to play in a "gung-ho" manner from the off would be almost impossible to resist.

However, to do so would play straight into Real's hands, their speed, invention and incisiveness on the break will be a constant threat for the home side.

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The comfort of playing at the Vicente Calderon where they are unbeaten this season should really be advantageous for Atleti, yet their visitors have taken all three points on their last six visits here in La Liga.

Simeone has to balance the need to entertain and play positive, attacking football, with the pragmatism required to ensure a result.

Ancelotti, by contrast, is in the comfortable position of knowing that even a draw isn't a bad result as it would keep them at the summit after this round of matches. Albeit by a solitary point.

It's set up for a classic and Atleti's greater urgency will tip the balance for a 2-1 home win.

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