Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Match Preview & Predictions

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid preview

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid match preview and predictions for Saturday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Spanish capital’s big two clash in a key game at the top of the table.

  • DATE: Saturday 12th December 2020
  • KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano
  • COMPETITION: LaLiga

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Preview


Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid preview
Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano via Brgesto, CC BY-SA 3.0

The first Madrid derby of the 2020/21 season is a really significant one in terms of how the title race is going to develop over the coming weeks and months. Atleti head into the game as the genuine favourites to win LaLiga. Victory would see them go 9 points clear with a game in hand on their city rivals while they’d briefly go 15 clear of Barcelona. A win for Los Blancos though, and suddenly Real Madrid would have the momentum heading into the turn of the year.

Real Madrid’s reputation as a team that delivers when it matters most, has been further strengthened this week by two important wins in tough games. They battled to a 1-0 victory at Sevilla last weekend in LaLiga before winning their decisive final Champions League game against Borussia Monchengladbach with a very convincing display.

Los Blancos are now through as group winners and will back themselves to make the Quarter-Finals given the teams they could be paired against. A derby win here would be the perfect way to round off the week and all the pressure that was building on Zinedine Zidane will have been considerably eased.

It won’t be easy though against an Atletico Madrid side that hasn’t lost a league match since this very fixture on February 1st. That seems a lifetime ago now but it’s very much a stronger Atleti that will take to the field for what will be something of a strange occasion given this grand fixture will of course be played out at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano rather than the Bernabeu.

Just how good this Atleti side is remains the source of some debate. A run of 7 straight league wins with only one goal conceded suggests they are more than capable of emulating the class of 2014 by winning the Spanish title. However against stronger sides in Europe, cracks have emerged and they weren’t particularly impressive even in a crucial 2-0 win against RB Salzburg in midweek.


Check out our match previews for every game in LaLiga this weekend here!


Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Real Madrid Wins, 4 Draws (Results after 90 minutes).
  • There has only been one goal scored in the last three Madrid derbies, excluding the penalty shootout in the Supercopa earlier this year.
  • That was scored by Real Madrid in their 1-0 win in this fixture last season.
  • Atleti are without a win in 9 Madrid derbies in LaLiga since a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu in 2015/16.

Team News

Dani Carvajal should be fit enough to start at right-back for Real Madrid in what could be the only change from midweek although Marco Asensio is hoping for a recall.

It’s likely to be 3-5-2 again for Atleti here. That will mean starts for Felipe and Mario Hermoso at centre-back given Jose Gimenez is still out.

Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup:

Courtois – Mendy, Varane, Ramos, Carvajal – Kroos, Casemiro, Modric – Vini, Benzema, Rodrygo (4-3-3)

Predicted Atletico Madrid Starting Lineup:

Oblak – Hermoso, Felipe, Savic – Carrasco, Llorente, Saul, Koke, Trippier – Suarez, Felix (3-5-2)


Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Predictions


Score Prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid

This is a tough one to call and long gone are the days when an Atleti win in this fixture would be seen as a huge surprise. There is though something about Real Madrid and big games. Even in what has overall been a poor campaign, Los Blancos have consistently been delivering when it matters most. 

They’ve already won away to Barcelona and Sevilla in LaLiga while they won both of their Champions League games against Inter, supposedly their strongest group opponents before putting in arguably their most complete display of the season in that decisive final match against Gladbach. That record suggests we may just see Atleti’s long unbeaten streak in LaLiga end in a similar fashion to that of their most recent league defeat – a narrow Madrid derby loss.

LaLiga Betting Tips (18+)

View our betting picks for this match and all the others in the Spanish top flight this weekend by following LaLiga Expert for free on Tipstrr. You can view our profit/loss stats there.


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Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk