With the added incentive of the leadership at stake, nothing like this Saturday's derby (21.00, Movistar LaLiga) to measure the football status of the Athletic and of Real Madrid. Two teams immersed in dynamics that need to be tested in big dates. For the Simeone team, the duel is another test to check the competitive nature and the gear of its reconstruction.
For Madrid, perched on the watchtower of the table, the contest is a revalidation of the rebound experienced after the Paris debacle that pointed to the beginning of an acute crisis. More than per game, Zidane players they have been revitalized since the guild, attribute that is usually associated more with his opponent, whose exponential economic growth questions his historical arrogance as a team of the people. "People here get up early, work hard, it's the same, after people say that this is a club of the rich and others of the poor, I will not change that," rebelled Zinedine Zidane, who settled any reference to vapuleo ( 7-3) received at the New Jersey summer bolus.
The frayed team that showed a blushing distance between their lines in the Parc des Princes has given way to a more supportive group, centered around the leadership of Ramos, the most killer Benzema and the double figure that James and Bale interpret as bishops and pawns. Zidane and Real Madrid wait for Hazard, architect two seasons ago with Chelsea of the first official defeat of Atletico in his new stadium. That night of Champions wore those vertiginous conductions with the ball attached to the foot that has not yet taught in Spain. “If Madrid takes advantage of the spaces it will be complicated. Bale is growing, Benzema is still very well tuned and Hazard has a lot of technique and ability, ”warned Simeone, who will not be able to count on Morata after dismissing the two yellow allegations that the striker saw in Mallorca. The sanction prevents Simeone from arranging the double point Costa-Morata in its attempt to snatch the leadership from Madrid. “We talked with Álvaro about what I think of his hierarchy and only he knows what I said,” admitted El Cholo. Without Morata, João Félix is running as the companion of Costa. The emerging Portuguese star will have a lot of focus. The context of physical and defensive wear in which Atlético is handled has thrown him into intermittency. The technical details and knowing how to get more than being in the spaces where it hurts is what the football player has announced.
It is in the center of the field where Simeone intuits the great battle. You will have to decide if you give Vitolo continuity, if he bets on Lemar or Correa or puts the quad, the granitic formula that he has not released in this course. In this case, Herrera or Llorente would accompany Koke, Thomas and Saul. All to try to end a streak that says Atlético have only won at Madrid at home in one of the last 18 league games. That February 4-0, 2015 that buried Ancelotti.