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Real Madrid CF - Atlético de Madrid: A flickering light in LALIGA

Atlético will set out to win its third Madrid Derby in four tries this season.

Atletico Madrid v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Diego Souto/Getty Images

Atlético de Madrid will visit Real Madrid on Sunday night in the fourth (and final, at least for now) Madrid Derby of the 2023/24 season.

Atlético Madrid (15-2-5, 47 points) enter this match on a five-game winning streak between LALIGA and the Copa del Rey. Los Colchoneros have already defeated Real Madrid (18-3-1, 57 points) twice this season and can close to within seven points of the current leaders with another victory on Sunday — which would be Atlético’s first at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in nearly eight calendar years.

“The atmosphere in Saudi Arabia was similar to what we’ll experience at the Bernabéu,” head coach Diego Simeone told reporters on Saturday.

Simeone this season has found a formula for success against Sunday’s opponent that no other team in Europe has been able to find. Atlético remain the only side to have beaten Real Madrid in any competition this year — and in three games against Los Blancos, Simeone’s men have scored 10 goals, including four in last month’s thrilling Copa del Rey round of 16 victory. Atleti have not defeated Real Madrid three times in the same season since the 2014/15 campaign — Simeone’s third full season in charge.

Simeone’s rotations against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday were made taking this game into account — as well as next Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal back at the Cívitas Metropolitano against Athletic Club. El Cholo brought several of Sunday’s probable starters off the bench against Rayo, including Koke, Samuel Lino, Rodrigo de Paul, and Antoine Griezmann. The coach is weighing up whether Álvaro Morata (back from injury) or Memphis Depay (5 goals/1 assist his past five games) will partner Griezmann, who has provided an assist in each of the past four league fixtures — including teeing up Memphis for the late winner over Rayo.

“There’s Haaland, Mbappé. After that, I don’t know how many are better (than Griezmann) right now,” Simeone told ESPN’s Martín Ainstein in an interview this week.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti will have to make do without pivot Aurélien Tchouaméni (yellow card accumulation), while defender Antonio Rüdiger suffered a blow to his thigh during Thursday’s win at Getafe. Rüdiger’s status will be up in the air until Ancelotti names his 11 on Sunday evening, but the German is expected to start despite his injury.

Date Feb. 4, 2024

Location Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid

Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. PT

SB Nation opposition site Managing Madrid

Available TV/streaming ABC and ESPN+ (United States), Movistar+ (Spain), Viaplay Sports 1 (United Kingdom)