LaLiga will wrap up before the international break with a Sunday night fixture which is bound to be a thriller as Atlético Madrid welcome Real Madrid in the Derbi Madrileño live on ITV in the UK.
The fixture will be the first time that either team play an opponent from last season’s top four this campaign and pits an in-form Real Madrid team up against an inconsistent Atlético who were beaten in Germany by Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.
Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid Bet Builder Tips
Real Madrid Double Chance
Eight games in 2022/23 have given Real Madrid eight wins, and while Atlético Madrid might be their toughest test yet, they will be confident of maintaining that run. Los Blancos have only ever lost one game at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano since Atleti moved there in 2017, a 1-0 defeat with a second string line-up with the league title already sealed at the end of last season. That match ended an 11-match unbeaten run in the fixture in LaLiga for Real Madrid, dating back to 2016.
Given that Atleti are yet to concede in the first half of a game this season, while Real Madrid have only scored 27% of their goals in the first 45 minutes, we can expect this tie to be settled in the second period. That will suit Real Madrid, who have averaged two second half goals per game this season. “When a match is broken and more back and forth, that energy makes more of a difference,” Carlo Ancelotti explained.
There is also the chance that they could be coming up against an Atlético side without goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The Slovenian has been absent for Atlético’s last two matches due to a leg injury and only trained on Friday this week, still yet to join in the full team training sessions.
Flying sky high with confidence, Real Madrid seem the overwhelming favourites to come out on top in this derby. If they are to be denied, it will only be if Atlético can find a way to shut them out and stay tight defensively until the very final kick.
Fede Valverde to have 1+ Shot on Target
It’ll be very interesting to see how Real Madrid’s attack looks for this derby, especially since Karim Benzema remains a major injury doubt. Even if the Frenchman is risked, which seems unlikely given Carlo Ancelotti’s recent responses in his press conferences, he wouldn’t be expected to play the 90 minutes.
That makes it easier for Atlético to control Vinícius. And they really, really, really want to stop Vinícius. The pre-derby controversy in the capital this week has centred on his dancing goal celebrations and Koke raised tensions by hinting that the home crowd might not respond in the best way to a dancing Vinícius on Sunday, sparking a major debate. Atlético will be determined to prevent this situation from even arising by putting many markers on the Brazilian, something Diego Simeone has already been doing in derbies, hence the fact that Vinícius has never scored against Atleti across his eight previous derbies.
So, if Benzema is absent and Vinícius is under maximum vigilance, that should leave space for Fede Valverde, expected to start on the right of Real Madrid’s attack in their 4-3-3. He has been in scintillating form to start 2022/23, averaging a shot on target every 87 minutes this season, including a goal in each of his past two games, against Mallorca and Leipzig. On Wednesday, Ancelotti set him a public target of scoring 10 goals this season, and he is well on track. It would be a mistake for Atleti to leave Valverde too much room, but one that it seems they’ll be tempted into making by focusing too much on Vinícius.
Over 3.5 Cards
This derby will be a feisty one. The fixture has generated an average of 5.3 cards in the four meetings across the last two seasons and there is certainly no shortage of bad blood. Much of that has been sparked by an interview with Atlético captain Koke in midweek, as he discussed Vinícius’ dancing celebrations by saying, “at the end of the day if he scores a goal and decides to dance it’s his call, but [if he does that on Sunday] there would be trouble for sure.”
Following Atleti’s refusal to give Real Madrid a guard of honour, there was already tension and Thibaut Courtois was among those to feel the brunt of it, as Atleti fans threw toy rats at him when he joined Real Madrid having previously spent time on loan at their rivals. He didn’t help matters by saying “now I’m on the right side of history”.
Scuffles are likely, and even if they don’t appear, crunching tackles from the likes of Antonio Rüdiger and Reinildo can most certainly be expected. Equally, the likes of João Félix and Vinícius are no strangers to a petulant reaction or a card for dissent.
The referee is Jose Luis Munuera Montero, who has averaged a total of 4.8 cards per game in his matches this season, following the trend of 4.6 cards per game in 2021/22. It seems difficult to imagine that those numbers will be decreased in such a heated fixture and with so much at stake for both teams even this early on in the campaign.
Atlético Madrid to Receive the Most Cards
Real Madrid have been the team to receive the fewest yellow cards in LaLiga to date this season, and while we do expect that to change in this game, they are likely to keep their composure far more than Atlético. In the last five Madrid derbies, it has been Sunday’s hosts who have seen more cards on four occasions, with the win in May being the only exception.
The home team have picked up an average of 2.6 cards per game in LaLiga this season, compared to Real Madrid’s 1.2 cards per game. Atlético have several players who Real Madrid are likely to be targeting, such as defenders Nahuel Molina and Felipe. The former is a new arrival this summer who is yet to settle and struggled when facing Callum Hudson-Odoi’s pace against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, conceding two fouls. In Vinícius, he’ll be facing even more of a challenge. Felipe, meanwhile, was sent off three times last season alongside eight yellow cards.
Munuera Montero has shown 3.3 cards against Atlético Madrid per game on average throughout his career and there has never been a game in which he did not show a single card to the Colchoneros. In comparison, he has shown an average 1.5 cards per game against Real Madrid. The last time he refereed Atlético, he controversially sent off forward Ángel Correa for dissent in a game which also saw five yellow cards for the Rojiblancos against Rayo Vallecano.
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Atletico Madrid predicted XI (4-4-2) : Grbic; Reinildo, Witsel, Hermoso; Molina, Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Morata, Felix
Real Madrid predicted XI (4-3-3) : Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius
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How to watch Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid in La Liga?
📅 When is Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid? / Sunday, 18th September 2022, 8:00PM
🏟 Where is Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid? / Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
📺 What TV channel is Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid on? / ITV4
🟨 …And who is the referee for Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid? / J.M. Montero 🇪🇸