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Spanish LaLiga Betting Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid

September 24, 2023

Los Blancos make the short trip across town to the Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night, where they will face bitter rivals Atletico Madrid.

The 233rd El Derbi Madrileno comes a couple of days after both Madrid sides started their Champions League campaigns. 

Atletico Madrid have failed to beat Los Blancos in their two La Liga meetings last season as Real Madrid also claimed a 3-1 home victory in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. 

Yet, Los Colchoneros avoided a defeat in their most recent La Liga clash - a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu in February, even though they were once again down to 10 men midway through the second-half. 

Atletico Madrid Betting Preview (+180 at BetOnline)

With seven points from their opening four games, Atletico Madrid sit 7th in La Liga, but they also have a game in hand. All in all, Diego Simeone's side have been pretty inconsistent this term, winning just two of their five matches in all competitions (2-2-1). 

Los Colchoneros suffered two setbacks after the international break. First, they lost 3-0 at the hands of Valencia last weekend - something that Simeone described as the “weakest” performance of his long tenure.

Atletico Madrid were also held to a 1-1 draw with Serie A side Lazio in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night. And when it looked like the Spanish side would leave the Italian capital with three points, Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scored the stoppage-time equalizer. 

Diego Simeone's side enjoyed a 7-0 win at Rayo Vallecano last month for their biggest ever away win in La Liga. The result was only the third time Atletico Madrid have scored seven goals in a La Liga match in the 21st century, after beating Getafe by the same scoreline in 2013 and Granada 7-1 in October 2016. 

Meanwhile, their next top-flight game against Sevilla was postponed due to bad weather in the Madrid area earlier this month.  

Injuries have hit Los Rojiblancos hard this season, but Diego Simeone received a timely boost with the news that skipper Koke, experienced midfielder Axel Witsel as well as Dutch forward Memphis Depay should all be available for selection this weekend.

However, Diego Simeone will be without defenders Reinildo and Caglar Soyuncu and Reinildo, as well as midfielders Pablo Barrios, Rodrigo De Paul and Thomas Lemar. 

Pablo Barrios scored his first Champions League goal for Atletico Madrid against Lazio on Tuesday, but the 20-year-old midfielder picked up a knee injury, so Simeone will hope to have captain Koke fully fit. 

Real Madrid Betting Preview (+163 at BetOnline)

Looking to maintain their perfect record, Carlo Ancelotti's side are set to face their toughest test of the season so far when they take on bitter rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday evening. 

Having made an outstanding start to the 2023-24 campaign, Real Madrid have won all six of their matches so far. They will be eager to carry that on against Madrid rivals Atletico, though it's never an easy task. 

Bidding to regain the top spot in La Liga (following spectacular wins of Girona and arch rivals Barcelona on Saturday), Real Madrid are favorites to win the title despite Karim Benzema's departure this summer.

Los Blancos kicked-off their Champions League quest with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Union Berlin, with Jude Bellingham's last-gasp winner securing another three points. 

Jude Bellingham has been in sensational form since completing a €103 million summer transfer from Borussia Dortmund, having already scored six goals in as many games for Real Madrid. The 20-year-old England midfielder wasn't able to score in the 2-1 La Liga win over Real Sociedad last time out, but he did so in his first four top-flight appearances for the Spanish giants.

Despite the injuries of first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and key defender Éder Militão, both of whom are set for a long spell on the sidelines, Carlo Ancelotti still managed to build a well-drilled line that boasts the best defensive record in La Liga. 

However, the Italian tactician will have to make a rotation to his back four with Dani Carvajal out injured. Thus, Lucas Vazquez should come in to replace the experienced right-back.

Elsewhere, the likes of Ferland Mendy, Dani Ceballos, Arda Guler and Vinicius Junior have all had to deal with other injuries this term.

Carlo Ancelotti revealed that Vinicius has 100% recovered: “Vinicius? He will be in the squad for tomorrow’s game. We will decide tomorrow (if he starts or not)." 

Having the Brazilian back is a massive boost for Ancelotti's game plan. They will certainly feel that they have a better chance to win the Madrid derby on Sunday if they have the 23-year-old forward on the pitch.

Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde were both brought on as substitutes midway through the second half against Union Berlin on Wednesday night and the pair could start at the weekend. 

It remains to be seen whether Fran Garcia will start at left-back, which should see David Alba in a center-back role. Garcia, who delivered the two assists in Real Madrid's 2-1 comeback win over Real Sociedad last weekend, was only introduced as a second-half substitute against Union Berlin, with Alaba deployed at his natural left back position. 

Possible Starting Lineups of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid 

Atlético Madrid: Jan Oblak - Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez, Mario Hermoso - Nahuel Molina, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Saúl, Samuel Lino - Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata. (3-5-2)

Real Madrid: Kepa Arrizabalaga - Lucas Vázquez, Antonio Rüdiger, David Alaba, Fran García - Toni Kroos, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde - Jude Bellingham - Rodrygo, Joselu. (4-3-1-2) 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

Atletico Madrid have won their last 10 home games in La Liga - since a 1-1 draw with Getafe in early-February. Their last loss at the Metropolitano Stadium was against Barcelona in January and Diego Simeone's side will hope to extend their strong home form when they face their city rivals. 

Having won only two of their last 10 home matches against Real Madrid in all competitions (losing three), Los Colchoneros must be clinical in front of goal if they are to win against their cross-city rivals.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, are going into the first Madrid derby of the new campaign with a 100 per cent record in all competitions. They are slight favorites to win the battle and Jude Bellingham's contribution could help them edge past their city rivals. 

This Madrid derby should be a ferocious affair, and both sides will keep it tight - many would even say it could end in a goalless draw.

Spooky Express Free Play 1: Spread - Real Madrid PK -115 at BetOnline for 6/10 Units 

Spooky Express Free Play 2: Jude Bellingham To Score At Least 1 Goal +300 at BetOnline for 2/10 Units