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LaLiga 2022-23: Five reasons why you can’t miss Madrid Derby this weekend

Published at :February 23, 2023 at 7:20 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : LaLiga )

Hardik Malhotra

The Madrid Derby is the blockbuster game of Matchday 23 in LaLiga Santander, a clash between two teams who can’t afford to drop points and who’ll produce some fascinating duels.

Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid will face off this Saturday in the Madrid Derby in LaLiga Santander, in what will be a thrilling contest between two teams who can’t afford to drop points and who’ll produce some fascinating duels, such as Thibaut Courtois vs Jan Oblak in goals or deadly dribbler Vinícius vs ball-winning Reinildo.

No margin for error for either side

Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone’s squads are at a point in the LaLiga Santander season where they can’t afford to slip up. Los Blancos find themselves eight points behind leaders FC Barcelona and anything less than three points will be a step backwards in their quest for the title. Meanwhile, Los Rojiblancos are right on the border of the Champions League spots, in fourth place for now but aware that their rivals will be looking to snatch that position at the slightest slip-up.

Also Read: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Predicted lineup, injury news, telecast

The continuation of a hard-fought derby

This league version of the Madrid Derby comes barely a month after the clash between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid in the Copa del Rey, a hard-fought match that Real Madrid won in extra time. There may, therefore, be some unfinished business between the two teams, while both sets of fans will remember how tight and close that last duel was. Both sets of players will have that night at the Bernabéu fresh in their minds too, which makes this LaLiga Santander derby one to look forward to.

Courtois vs Oblak is a duel between two great goalkeepers

This fixture is always interesting because of the individual battle between two of the best goalkeepers in the world. Thibaut Courtois and Jan Oblak have shared eight of the last 10 Zamora Trophies – given each season to the goalkeeper with the best goals against ratio in LaLiga Santander – between them. The Belgian has won three and the Slovenian has won five, with only Claudio Bravo and Bono managing to to break the dominance of the Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid goalkeepers in this time. Both are among the goalkeepers with the best goals conceded ratio of the current season: 0.88 for Courtois and 0.75 for Oblak, each conceding less than a goal per game.

The best dribbler takes on a solid defence 

Vinícius is the best dribbler in LaLiga Santander, and by a distance. Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward has completed 61 dribbles in the competition this year, far more than his nearest rival in this ranking, RC Celta's Javi Galán, who has 38. But, this weekend he’ll face the team with the most successful tackles in LaLiga Santander, which is Atlético de Madrid with 252. They’re also one of the units that intercepts the most balls, with 197. In Reinildo, Simeone has a truly great defensive pillar, as he has achieved 30 ball recoveries so far.

Revenge for the World Cup final

Atlético de Madrid boast three world champions from Qatar in their ranks, with Rodrigo de Paul, Nahuel Molina and Ángel Correa having won the tournament with the Argentine national team. Two players who lost to them in that final were Real Madrid’s Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga, so they’ll be looking for revenge and will set out with the aim of defeating the Argentines in this match. Given that Antoine Griezmann also played in that World Cup final, there are six players in this Madrid Derby who can boast of having been present in one of the most memorable matches of last year, which speaks to the level of the two squads that will meet at the Bernabéu.