Scare or death

The duel will take off Atleti or reengage Madrid, which recovers Benzema, with Barça on the prowl. The rojiblanco team has more goals than Zidane's for the first time in 23 years.

Scare-or-death

It is a three-way derby. It will have a cure, whatever happens, for Atlético. It will be almost incurable, if he loses, for Madrid. And Barça will see him on the couch in a mess: his heart is red and white and his head, even in spite of himself, white. In any case, it will be a better endowed match than was presumed in recent days. Benzema comes to the aid of Madrid and Trippier and Carrasco put wings on Atlético. It will be missing, yes, Sergio Ramos, the king of this neighborhood duel. Who knows if the 43rd, played in Valdebebas, will have been the last (follow the game live on As.com) .

The party is out of any cabal. And the fact is that the scoreboards explain Atlético's behavior badly: it was good in the defeat against Levante and badly in the victory against Villarreal. He has made a fortune from his impenetrability and before the Ceramics match he had conceded goals in eight consecutive games. Suárez is vice scorer of the championship and has gone five games without scoring. The team has suffered fifteen cases of coronavirus (only eight players in the squad have been saved) and has been a solid leader. João Félix plays less than last year and is more effective: he has scored ten goals, for nine in all of last season, when he has only started half of the league games. With the return of Trippier and Carrasco, Simeone reorders the team and places Llorente (nine goals and eight assists) back in the front line.

The Argentine has rehearsed a return to 4-4-2 (convertible to 5-3-2), with Hermoso as a left back behind Carrasco, and with and without João Félix. Who knows if his goal in Vila-real, commanding the unknown soldier to silence, will help him return to eleven. He, Saul and Lemar apply for a vacancy. Giménez is the only casualty.

Five for two places

Madrid is more predictable. It is one with Benzema and one without him. Of the 13 games in which the Frenchman scored, he won ten and only lost two. They have been absent in the last three games and the team has not gone beyond one goal per game. That loss has ruined Zidane's plan: reach Wanda with Atlético within reach (five points separate them now with one less game for the rojiblancos). The Frenchman has trained for only two days normally, but without Mariano he is obliged to play. Who knows how long your adductor will hold. Of his four alleged companions (Rodrygo, Asensio, Isco and Vinicius) only two have a place. And it is not ruled out even that Valverde occupies one of those two places to be assigned.

Madrid appears in the midst of a historic drought: 23 years ago they were not below Atlético in scoring. In the nine years with Cristiano, the white team scored 41 more goals than its neighbor on average per season. Even in the two years without him he was 13.5 points higher. So today it will be Benzema and ten others, the superstars minus Ramos and Carvajal, and with alternatives for the bench: Odriozola, Marcelo, Militao, the two who do not escort the nine ... 444 444White start, red and white finish

The statistics are also surprising. Madrid, contrary to general belief, dominates the airspace: it is the team that scores the most goals from the head (11) and the second that concedes the least (3). Both are robust from set pieces (nine goals from Madrid, the leader in this chapter, and eight from Atlético). In managing the times, Zidane's men get up early (they are the ones who make the most in the first quarter of an hour, 10) and the rojiblancos stay up late (the most effective in the last, 12).

Atlético is superior in efficiency. One in five shots makes it a goal. And its goalkeeper, Oblak, has the highest hit rate under the sticks of the entire League: he stops 78% of the shots that come to him. Above, Suárez and Benzema are also even and respond to what they seem: more goals from the Argentine and more assists from the madridista. The thing remains at 18-17 in favor of the Uruguayan in the sum of goals and passes of the truth in the League.

Winning brings Madrid into the League and makes them the first team to beat Wanda twice. So far they have only done it once, in addition to whites, Espanyol, Levante and Barça, in La Liga; Sevilla, in the Cup, and Chelsea, in the Champions League. If he succeeds, Zidane's team will shake the hornet's nest. If you click, it will only hang from the thin thread of the Champions League. It is a matter of fright, for Atlético, or death, for Madrid.



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