One of the biggest matches on the European football calendar will take place at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday evening, as Atletico Madrid welcome Real Madrid for the Madrid derby.
Atletico are currently seventh in the table, boasting 10 points from their opening five matches, while Real Madrid are at the head of the division, collecting 15 points during a perfect start to the campaign.
Atletico will enter Sunday’s contest off the back of a disappointing result in the Champions League, suffering a 2-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, which has left Diego Simeone’s side third in Group B.
The Red and Whites have made a relatively solid start to their 2022-23 La Liga campaign, winning three, drawing one and losing one of their five matches to collect 10 points, which has left them in seventh spot in the table, five points behind Real Madrid ahead of the clash between the two sides.
Atletico started their campaign with a 3-0 victory at Getafe but then suffered a 2-0 home loss to Villarreal, which was certainly a setback for the capital giants early in the campaign.
Simeone’s side have picked up seven points from their last three league games, beating Valencia 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Real Sociedad before recording a 4-1 victory over Celta Vigo last time out.
Angel Correa, Rodrigo De Paul and Yannick Carrasco were on the scoresheet in the strong success last weekend, but Atletico will now be taking on the reigning champions, who boast a perfect record from their eight matches in three separate competitions this term.
Atletico, who finished third in La Liga last season, beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the corresponding game between the two sides last term, which proved to be their first success over their rivals in the league since February 2016.
Real Madrid, as mentioned, have not missed a step in the early stages of the 2022-23 campaign, which started with a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup on August 10.
Los Blancos have also won their opening five La Liga games against Almeria, Celta Vigo, Espanyol, Real Betis and Mallorca to sit atop the table with 15 points from an available 15, and they look the team to beat again this term despite Barcelona’s huge spending and obvious improvement.
The European champions have also posted victories in their opening two Champions League fixtures, running out 3-0 winners over Celtic on September 6 before beating RB Leipzig 2-0 at Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were far from their best against Leipzig during the week, and they had to be patient, with the first goal not arriving until the 80th minute through Federico Valverde, before Marco Asensio netted in stoppage time to ensure that another three points would be secured.
Real Madrid only made two signings over the summer, with Aurelien Tchouameni arriving in a big-money deal from Monaco, while Antonio Rudiger joined the club after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer. Casemiro was their standout outgoing, but the level of the team has not dropped this season, and it will be fascinating to see what the Whites can achieve this term.
The capital giants will have a busy October due to the season breaking in November for the 2022 World Cup, with games against Osasuna, Shakhtar Donetsk (twice), Getafe, Barcelona, Elche, Sevilla, RB Leipzig and Girona to come before the end of next month.
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
We say: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Real Madrid
Atletico are set to be without some key players for this match, but the absence of Benzema is huge for Real Madrid and certainly makes them weaker. It is so difficult to back against Real Madrid at the moment, but Atletico must be respected at home, and we believe that a tight and nervy affair at Wanda Metropolitano will finish with the points being shared.