Madrid Derby: Real Madrid and Atletico will battle for second place knowing Valencia can outpace them

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Madrid derby, Santiago Bernabeu

Barcelona holds a nine-point lead at top of La Liga’s point table and it could stretch to 12 points before Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid head into the Madrid derby on Sunday evening. It left both Madrid giants to fight only for the second place and a neutral result can allow Valencia to outpace them.

Valencia currently sits at fourth place on the points table with their 62 points. They are one point behind Real Madrid (63) and five points away from Atletico Madrid (67). Los Che will be hoping for a neutral result between Madrid giants as it resulted in the return fixture in November. It will allow them to move forward on the points table with a victory against Espanyol on Sunday night.

It’s a week of derbies – Madrid derby, Manchester derby, Merseyside derby and London derby

However, Real and Atletico – both will head into the fixture knowing that Valencia can outpace them. They have nothing to lose as they know that they are not going to win La Liga this season. However, it will depend on how badly they want to finish second on the points table.

Both of the teams have crucial European fixtures lined up for midweek. Whereas Real will host Juventus at home with a 3-0 advantage in Uefa Champions League quarterfinals first-leg, Atletico will have to travel to Lisbon to play Europa League quarterfinals second-leg with the 2-0 advantage from home.

Manchester derby is not giving goosebumps

They have their half-foot forward in semifinals of their respective European competition they are competing. It shouldn’t bother them heading into the Madrid derby. They need to give their best in Madrid derby forgetting about midweek European fixture.

It’s all about pride. Historically Los Blancos have an advantage over their city rivals in all competition. But in recent times, Los Rojiblancos have shown some fight in La Liga and especially at Santiago Bernabeu playing away from home.

It all started with 2013/14 season. They registered a 0-1 victory over Real at Bernabeu. However, they lose 5-0 aggregate in Copa del Rey semifinal over both legs. If you leave Uefa Champions League final of 2013/14 alone which Los Merengues won 4-1 in extra-time, Atletico really troubled them afterward. They went unbeaten in next eight matches against Los Blancos with four victories and four draws in revenge for the Champions League final loss.

Then trend changes again in the following season as Atletico lost 1-0 aggregate in Champions League 2014/15 quarterfinals. It again took a toll on Atletico as they go unbeaten in 2015/16 La Liga fixture winning 0-1 away and drawing 1-1 at home.

Atletico was only left heart-broken after 2015/16 Uefa Champions League final lost on penalties. They lost 3-0 afterward at home in La Liga 2016/17 season before snatching a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu. Then, Real tore them apart in 2016/17 Champions League semi-final with a 3-0 victory at Jose Calderon and 2-1 victory back at home, winning the tie 5-1 aggregate.

Los Rojiblancos were eliminated by Real Madrid or denied Europe’s most prized possession four times in a row. It really takes a toll on them and hurt their morale as a team. They are eager to amend the record again. They played a 0-0 draw at home this season, and they’ll be looking forward to a positive result at Santiago Bernabeu in return fixture.

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