With the appeal of a one-game draw, the danger of bidding two leagues for Real Madrid in January or losing the chance to challenge for any title in Atlético de Madrid’s season, the great derby of Madrid presented the return of the football to the Santiago Bernabéu stadium after 77 days without lights.
They will reignite in a stadium that continues its mammoth craft for one of those signature matches of the year. An always special derby that gains more meaning by leaving a winner and a loser in a Copa del Rey that no one wants to say goodbye to.
Never considered an important title in the White House, but the one they want to fight for in the present, as they showed by coming back from two goals in La Cerámica when they were presumed dead. Of greater importance for an Atlético de Madrid that said goodbye to the battle for the League and the ‘Champions’ much earlier than expected. Everything to the letter in the house of the great enemy.
The symptoms have turned into a Real Madrid headed for crisis. The blow of the classic of the Spanish Super Cup was added to the Villarreal competition and the bad physical sensations passed by a team at the lowest moment of the course. When he found himself on the ropes, he brought out that special competitive gene. La Cerámica’s comeback in the round of 16, trailing 2-0 at half-time, was the reaction Carlo Ancelotti expected after delivering a coaching blow.
‘Carletto’ made decisions that renewed confidence and dispelled any kind of doubt that might arise for whoever won everything along the way. The bet of Camavinga as a midfielder, the increase in defensive competitiveness with Nacho, the transition to the freshness and hunger of Dani Ceballos or Marco Asensio. Elections that sent legends to the bench that are not easy to place, like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
No one questions the ownership of either in the derby, no matter how many times Ancelotti talks about “transition in the squad”. It has to be sweet, with the atmosphere they created in the locker room last season as transcendental to success.
Since the union of a team that combines the survivors of a golden age (four Champions Leagues in five years) with young values in constant growth. Like Camavinga, whose demonstration as a midfielder for San Mamés ensured that the return of Aurélien Tchouaméni, recently recovered from his muscle injury, could not be forced.
The injuries to Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez will give the “pessimistic” defender continuity on the right as defined by his coach. Nacho with the continuity he demanded, far from his favorite region where competition is fierce. Ready to have David Alaba reappear after his solo problem and fighting for a spot with an erratic Rüdiger.
In duels of greatness, Ancelotti is used to strengthening his midfield with a fourth member, at least in defensive duties, like Fede Valverde. He would close the door to ownership for Dani Ceballos after two good performances and for Marco Asensio. Because in attack it is non-negotiable in the presence of two players who will determine the course of the season: Vinícius, again in the spotlight for his behavior with rivals, and Karim Benzema are approaching their identity after scoring in five of the last six games, forgotten injuries and the World Cup.
Reactivated since the resumption of competition after the World Cup in Qatar 2022, Atlético de Madrid need the Copa del Rey. Since 2013, when he won his last tournament title against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu, he has not been so attracted to her as he competed for the League – now excluded – and the Champions League, from which he is excluded. eliminated in the first stage. Derailed from those goals, he has the cup left.
The reaction of Diego Simeone’s team is visible, with six wins in their last eight official matches, with the only defeat against Barcelona, which they at least equaled, and with the only draw against Almería, which they would have overcome with a blow more in keeping with the appearance of their attackers, which he did find against Valladolid.
Last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat is a boost for Atlético, who seem to be clinging more to their past at the Santiago Bernabéu, to the 2013 Copa del Rey, to qualifying for the same tournament in 2015, to their victories there in the La Liga in 2015, 2016 and 2017, then to his present, as he has not won on the territory of Madrid in any of his most recent seven appointments, the last four without a single goal in favor, with the expressive exception of Antoine Griezmann .
The author of the last three goals for the rojiblanco team in that stadium is also the most differentiating factor that Simeone’s current Atlético, initially without Marcos Llorente, is out of action in the derby due to an adductor injury, but determined in the advance to the semi-finals and in his bet, according to the tests, for the 4-3-3 with three attackers that inspires more conviction in the team today: Ángel Correa, Álvaro Morata and Griezmann.
Atlético need the punch he showed against Valladolid, also the inspiration for the French footballer, predictably seconded in midfield by Rodrigo de Paul, who comes on as a replacement for Llorente, Koke Resurrección and Thomas Lemar, with the alternative of signing Geoffrey Kondogbia’s represents muscle. It’s another possibility.
De Paul is one of two substitutes expected in the eleven. The other will be in defence, with the return of Stefan Savic -sanctioned in his last two LaLiga Santander matches- or José María Giménez. One of the two plays alongside Mario Hermoso. On the right is Nahuel Molina; on the left Reinido Mandava, with Sergio Reguilón apt, as another option.
Memphis Depay, Atlético’s newest signing, made his debut against Valladolid last Saturday, points to the substitution, with details that promise much more in the future once he adapts tactically and physically to Diego Simeone’s plan, who will be protected in his target at Jan Oblak’s Bernabéu. The Slovenian goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in two of his ten derbies on that stage.
Source: El heraldo
I’m George Gonzalez, a professional journalist and author at The Nation View. With more than 5 years of experience in the field, I specialize in covering sports news for various print media outlets. My passion for writing has enabled me to craft stories that capture the attention of readers all over the world.