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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Capital Clubs Ready to Renew Hostilities

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated February 25, 2023
12 min read
  • Real Madrid have the chance to close the gap to Barcelona at the top of La Liga
  • Atletico Madrid will be looking to bolster their top-four chances with a victory
  • Diego Simeone’s side do not have the best recent record in the Madrid derby

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Odds

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Match Result and Both Teams To Score

Odds

Real Madrid 

+270
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Draw

+390
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Atletico Madrid

+800
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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Pick

Back Real Madrid to win and both teams to score in the derby on Saturday. Atletico are in good form in La Liga, but the Blancos should prove too strong in front of their own supporters.

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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

Real Madrid Hoping Domestic Results Follow European Ones

If Real Madrid are going to win the La Liga title this season, they need a lot to go their way. The Blancos, who finished on top of the pile with a minimum of fuss last term, currently trail Barcelona in top spot by eight points. 

Madrid cannot afford to drop many more points if they are to overhaul their arch-rivals at the summit of the standings.

Results in continental competition this week worked in their favor. Of course, those matches do not have any direct bearing on the title race back home. But Madrid will have drawn plenty of confidence and belief from their stunning 5-2 thrashing of Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday.

It looked like being a bad night for Madrid, who conceded twice before the quarter-hour mark. But Carlo Ancelotti, the most successful manager in the history of the competition, and his group of seasoned winners did not panic. By the end of the match, Madrid were celebrating a famous victory.

Two days later, Barcelona were eliminated from the Europa League by Manchester United, who beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford. Madrid will hope that Xavi Hernandez’s side suffer some sort of hangover from that defeat when they take on Almeria in La Liga on Sunday.

The best online sportsbooks still have Barcelona down as strong favorites to win the title - and for good reason. But Madrid are at least threatening to make the race competitive, having found form with five consecutive victories in all competitions, including two at Club World Cup 2023.

Atletico Madrid Would Love to Get One Over on Local Rivals

Atletico Madrid have long been the little brother in this particular relationship, and their supporters would love nothing more than to in effect end Real Madrid’s hopes of overtaking Barcelona at the top of the table.

First and foremost, though, Diego Simeone’s men will be looking to bolster their own ambitions. Atletico began the campaign hoping to challenge for the title, but they have since readjusted their expectations and are instead targeting a top-four finish.

In that regard, things have gone pretty well in recent weeks. Atletico are now just two points adrift of Real Sociedad in third, while they have opened up a four-point lead over Real Betis in fifth. That is still a slim advantage, but other potential contenders, such as Athletic Bilbao and Rayo Vallecano, have lost ground of late.

Atletico, conversely, have gone six matches without defeat, their longest unbeaten run in La Liga this season. They have kept a clean sheet in four of those games, recapturing some of the defensive solidity that was previously their trademark.

Saturday’s showdown with Madrid will be a test of their credentials, though. There is no doubt that Atletico will be competitive, but they must keep their heads and avoid becoming too hyped up. The only way they will pick up a positive result is by delivering a calm, calculated performance.

Even that might not be enough given Madrid’s superior overall quality, but Atletico’s good form at least means they head into the derby in a decent position. 

Home Advantage Could Go Long Way to Determining Outcome

These two teams met just a few weeks ago at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico made a bright start in the Copa del Rey quarter-final, with Alvaro Morata giving them the lead against his former club. 

It looked like Simeone’s side would hold on for victory, but Rodrgyo equalized for the hosts in the 79th minute and Madrid went on to triumph in extra time.

In the end, then, it was a familiar tale for Atletico. In the early part of Simeone’s tenure, he helped to shred the club’s inferiority complex when it came to the Madrid derby. Most famously, he led Atletico to victory over their rivals in the Copa del Rey final of 2013.

But in recent times, the Colchoneros have really struggled in this fixture. They have won just one of the last 14 head-to-head clashes between the clubs in La Liga. Not since February 2016 have Atletico triumphed across the city at the Bernabeu. 

Home advantage could have a big role to play on Saturday. One thing that could potentially work in Atletico’s favor is the fact they have had longer to prepare than their rivals. But Madrid are used to balancing domestic and European commitments, so the midweek trip to England will not have been much of an issue.

Ancelotti’s team look to have clicked again, and although they are still not completely convincing defensively, their attacking quality should bring them a victory this weekend. Go for a home win and both teams to score in this one.

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How to Watch Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

  • Teams: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
  • Location: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
  • Time: Feb. 25, 2023, 12.30 p.m. EST
  • How to Watch: ESPN+
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AUTHOR

Greg Lea

786 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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