Predicted XI

Simeone to change tactics? How Real and Atletico could line-up in Madrid derby

Diego Simeone could move his side to a back five as Zinedine Zidane welcomes back key players to full fitness for Madrid derby.

 
10:00am on Friday 11th December 2020
By
Stefan Bienkowski

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane avoided defeat and possibly unemployment with a much-needed 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in midweek but Saturday’s test against Atletico could be a much higher hurdle for the Frenchman to get over.

However, Zidane will be able to welcome back a number of fresh faces and should hope to see a more spirited performance from his key players after the Champions League victory. Similarly Diego Simeone’s side go into the match with their cross-city rivals in fantastic form and a relatively clear bill of health.

For Madrid, the big news in defence will be Sergio Ramos’ return to domestic football after recovering from injury to take part in the Gladbach game. He should keep his influential spot at centre back, with Dani Carvajal also expected to return just in time to make Zidane’s starting XI.

Ever the pragmatist, Simeone is expected to bring Mario Hermoso into his defence to form a back three, with Kieran Trippier and Yannick Carrasco playing in their superb wing-back positions.

The midfield should remain relatively similar for both sides, with Zidane most likely sticking with the same trio that dominated Gladbach in midweek. Similarly, Atletico should start with their combative trio of Saul Niguez, Maros Llorente and Koke in a bit to try and dominate the middle of the park.

Carvajal’s return will mean a right wing role for Lucas Vazquez, with Vinicius Jr playing on the left. Karim Benzem also returned from injury in midweek and looked back to his best, so it’s almost certain that he’ll start up front for Madrid.

Again, no real surprises from Athletico here as they stick with their tried and tested forward partnership of Luis Suarez and Joao Felix up front.

How Real Madrid and Atletico could line-up

Real Madrid vs Atletico - Football tactics and formations

Latest news

Player Ratings

Belgium 3-0 Russia: Lukaku on target as Red Devils start impressively

Belgium began their Euro 2020 campaign in impressive style as they beat Russia 3-0 thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Meunier.

  • 10 hours
Predicted XI

No Van Dijk or Van de Beek - How the Netherlands will line up against Ukraine

Frank de Boer will have his work cut out for him as he tries to pull together a functional starting XI for the Netherlands in their opening Euro 2020 clash

  • 22 hours
Predicted XI

Rashford, Maguire and Henderson to miss out - How England will line up against Croatia

England manager Gareth Southgate will have to compensate for a number of experienced players not being fit enough for his side's opening game of Euro 2020

  • 23 hours
Player Ratings

Turkey 0-3 Italy Player Ratings: Immobile stars as the Azzurri kick off Euro 2020 in style

Italy kicked off Euro 2020 with a comprehensive and impressive 2-0 victory over dark horses Turkey thanks to a goal from Ciro Immobile

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Hazard, De Bruyne to miss opener – How Belgium could line up against Russia

Kevin De Bruyne will miss Belgium’s Euro 2020 opener on Sunday, while Eden Hazard remains in doubt.

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Verratti out, Locatelli in: How Italy could line up against Turkey

Italy kick off the European Championship in Rome against Turkey on Friday evening. How will Roberto Mancini's men line up?

  • 1 day

Most read