Last Game

Granada 0 - 0 A Madrid

Saturday, 23 May 2015, 17:30

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

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Atleti, Arsenal and Liverpool target Vietto

Villarreal are reportedly attempting to renegotiate Luciano Vietto's contract to ward off interest from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sepp Blatter plans US trip for CONCACAF Gold Cup

Sepp Blatter is planning to visit the United States to attend next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

Mail Box

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

Francis Is Coq Of The North (London)

There is more praise for Mesut Ozil, but it's Francis Coquelin who gets the big love in the Mails. Plus Lazio, Wilshere swears (who cares?) and an over-capped England...

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