Next Game

R Vallecano v A Madrid

Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

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

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Transfer news: Defender Patrick van Aanholt has become Sunderland's fourth signing of the summer

Sunderland have announced that they have completed the signing of Patrick van Aanholt from Chelsea.

World Cup: Argentina fined by FIFA for displaying controversial banner

FIFA have handed the Argentine FA a fine of just under £20,000 after their players displayed a controversial banner.

Luis Suarez's biting ban to be fast-tracked by Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport may rule on Luis Suarez's appeal over his biting ban before the start of the season.

Mail Box

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property