It is fair to say that the La Liga season has thrown up a few surprises this campaign and one of the biggest has been that Real Madrid are a huge eleven points adrift of Barcelona at the top of the table. Not only this, they are eight behind their other rivals, Atletico Madrid, and know they simply have to beat them when they go head to head at the Bernabeu on Saturday evening.
Real v Atletico is always a fiercely contested encounter and that is sure to be the case this time out, especially given as the latter look to be the stronger side at the moment. If they can take all three points against their rivals from the Spanish capital – then Diego Simeone’s men will feel confident they can continue their quest for La Liga glory.
Jose Mourinho would have not been expecting his men to be involved in a must win game as early as December, but that is just what it is. It seems as though they need to be victorious in all of their matches in the top flight and hope that Barca drop points in the process. On their day, Real are unplayable and if they can come out of the traps flying, they will expect to take the spoils on their own turf.
Athletico will not be coming here for the occasion though, nor will they be intimated by their opponents. Simeone has installed a team of winners that believe in their own ability and they will make the journey across Madrid with three points on their mind and nothing else.
With Barcelona in action earlier on Saturday evening, Athletico might be able to move level on points with them at the top of the table if they lose at home to Athletic Bilbao.
This encounter also sees two of the most highest-rated attackers in the world on show as Cristiano Ronaldo will of course be playing for the home side, and Radamel Falcao for the visitors. Ronaldo has eleven goals in La Liga so far, whereas Falcao has ten – so there has not been much to separate them this campaign.
Both are sure to have a big say in this one and if they can be at their clinical best and take any chances presented to them, then we can expect plenty of goals on Saturday evening.
The atmosphere inside the Bernabeu will be electric and this famous match has the makings of being a real classic. These two are always desperate to beat each other, but with this meaning so much in terms of league position – victory would be all the more satisfying.