Next Game

A Madrid v Valencia

Sunday, 08 March 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Last Game

Sevilla 0 - 0 A Madrid

Sunday, 01 March 2015, 18:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

La Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois insists his side have the pedigree and the knowhow to beat capital city rivals Real this weekend.

Last Updated: 27/09/13 at 07:08 Post Comment

Thibaut Courtois: In a positive frame of mind for Madrid derby

Thibaut Courtois: In a positive frame of mind for Madrid derby

The Rojiblancos caused a shock by beating Real 2-1 after extra time in the final of the Copa del Rey in May, a match played on Real's home ground the Estadio Bernabeu.

Diego Simeone's side have carried the momentum of that victory into the current campaign and go into Saturday night's derby with a two-point lead over Real after six Primera Division matches. Atletico hold a 100 per cent record and are only behind Barcelona in the early standings.

The cup final win and the league table suggest Atleti have no reason to feel any sense of inferiority to their more illustrious neighbours, and Courtois, on loan to the club from Chelsea, told Marca: "We have a great team, we know how to beat them. (Playing for the) three points is (like) another final.

"As a player, you never play for a draw, you always play to win.

"There are players here who are in good form and others who are not, but I think the team as a whole can maintain the level and the spirit is good."

Midfielder Mario Suarez is a doubt for Atletico after straining ligaments in his right knee during Tuesday night's win over Osasuna, while striker Adrian Lopez is expected to miss out due to a fractured cheekbone. Both players trained away from the main group on Thursday.

Real come into the derby after an unconvincing 2-1 win at Elche on Wednesday night, secured by an injury-time penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo which was awarded in highly dubious circumstances.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted his team would need to make a major improvement against far tougher opposition in Atletico.

By the time the Madrid derby kicks off Barcelona could be five points clear of Real, as they travel south to take on Almeria.

Barca have scored an impressive 22 goals in six La Liga games, and face an Almeria side who have not recorded a league win so far.

The Catalan giants are under the microscope, with new coach Gerardo Martino coming in for criticism. The Argentinian's tactics have had a negative impact, critics say, on Barca's traditional style which is based on dominating possession.

Defender Gerard Pique was especially frustrated by the increased scrutiny, and told Barca TV: "We are the only team that wins 4-0, and people argue if we have had more or less possession. It is a statistic that should not be as important as the media makes out.

"At times we come up against opponents who we have to take the ball from and then become more horizontal in our play, with a bit more variation. Tata (Martino) wants to instil that in us and I welcome it."

The seventh round of matches kicks off with Valladolid hosting Malaga on Friday night, before Valencia take on Rayo Vallecano at the Mestalla and Real Sociedad host Sevilla on Saturday.

Osasuna face Levante in the early game on Sunday, with Elche travelling to Vigo to take on Celta, Espanyol hosting Getafe and Villarreal going to Seville to face Real Betis.

Granada host Athletic Bilbao in the Monday night match.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Chelsea captain John Terry not planning England return despite Wembley heroics

John Terry has no plans to reconsider his international retirement despite an emotional Capital One Cup win at Wembley.

Eden Hazard says Chelsea desire strong for more trophies

Eden Hazard insists Chelsea will be relentless in their desire to add further honours to Sunday's Capital One Cup success this season.

Greg Dyke offers Wembley as venue for possible FIFA presidential debate

FA chairman Greg Dyke has offered Wembley Stadium to host a FIFA presidential debate, should one be arranged before May's election.

Mail Box

Jose Settles Most Boring Team Debate...

There's lots of reaction to Chelsea and Liverpool's wins on Sunday, plus one Mailboxer asking: Who is the Premier League's best midfielder?

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company