La Liga preview: Madrid rivals vie for derby spoils
Atletico Madrid will be out to break a barren run against city rivals and La Liga leaders Real Madrid on Saturday.
Without a win over their neighbours since 1999, Atletico will be hoping their run of four wins in their past five matches could propel them to a rare triumph over Jose Mourinho’s men at the Bernabeu.
And Atletico midfielder Gabi said there was no reason he and his team-mates should be intimidated by Real.
“Not beating a team for so long is something that does not happen frequently to any side,” he said.
“We have a double chance here, to end our negative run and win at the Bernabeu.”
“We will go for the victory. There is no reason to fear anyone. This is the moment to show we are a good team, we need to have a good match at the Bernabeu.”
“This will be a special match, for the players and the fans. We will give our all to celebrate the victory with the fans.”
European and domestic champions Barcelona will also be in action on Saturday, aiming to maintain the pressure on leaders Real when they travel to Getafe.
Barca trail Real by three points in the early stages of the season, but will be buoyed by a 3-2 away win over AC Milan on Tuesday that booked their Champions League last-16 spot.
In the early kickoff, Rayo Vallecano will take on the third-placed Valencia – who trail Pep Guardiola’s men by four points in the standings.
On Sunday, Levante will be hoping to stem the tide of three straight losses when they host an in-form Sporting Gijon.
Levante’s brilliant start to the season has dropped off, while Gijon have racked up five matches unbeaten after a poor start to the league campaign saw them earn one point in seven games.
Also on Sunday, Espanyol welcome Osasuna, Athletic Bilbao take on bottom Granada and sixth-placed Sevilla travel to Real Zaragoza.
Real Betis will look to end a spate of recent defeats when they host Real Sociedad in the early kickoff, before Mallorca and Racing Santander do battle.