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More than a derby, it's a game of survival

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 27/02/2016 sportyou
Más que un derbi, un partido de supervivencia © Getty Images Más que un derbi, un partido de supervivencia

Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid meet today at 4pm in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The Blancos, who are the leading scorers in the competition, face the defence that has conceded the fewest goals. This time around, the 'fight' is not at the summit, but rather a little lower down. In top spot are Barcelona, con who have an important points cushion, so the derby will be all about not dropping out of the race for the la Liga title. If Barça should beat Sevilla in their meeting on Sunday at 8:30pm, whoever is the loser of the derby can practically wave goodbye to any hopes of lifting the title. If Real Madrid lose, they will trail the leaders by 12 points; if Atlético are defeated, they will be 11 points behind Barcelona.

Zinedine Zidane has Karim Benzema back for the 'battle' but does not have Gareth Bale available. Of the 71 goals Madrid have scored so far this season, some 54 have been the work of the BBC, and among them are the 13 netted by the Welshman, who is also one of the top providers of assists in the team. Their aim will be to bring down the Rojiblancos' wall: Atlético have only conceded three goals so far in 2016, and two of them were scored by Barcelona. Jan Oblak makes fewer saves and lets in fewer goals than Keylor Navas (1.90 saves and 0.45 goals conceded per game compared to 2.46 and 0.71, in all competitions). This means that teams create fewer chances against Atlético than they manage against Real Madrid.

Atlético's goal-scoring drought

Cholo Simeone's side are the best in the league away from home. They are going into this game, however, with problems in attack: they have failed to score in their last two matches and have gone more than 270 minutes without finding the net, since their last goal came in the second minute away at Getafe. Antoine Griezmann, Atlético's leading marksman, has not scored in any of his last five appearances.

As well as this, the visitors have had less time to rest since their last match. While Real Madrid have had all week to prepare for today's fixture, Atlético did not return from Eindhoven until Thursday. Under Zidane, Real Madrid have so far won every home game. This, however, will be the first touchstone for the 'new version' of the Blancos, hard on the heels of the slip-up in Málaga, where they dropped two points that could have been three.

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