Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid LIVE ONLINE | LaLiga

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti praised his side for keeping a “cool head” to come from 2-0 down to beat Liverpool 5-2 in a blockbuster midweek Champions League encounter. Keeping their composure is essential if they’re to make inroads on Barcelona’s eight-point lead at the top of La Liga (LL) though, as they prepare for the 232nd competitive staging of ‘El Derbi Madrileño’ against Atlético Madrid.

Three consecutive clean sheets in LL home games (W2, D1) and no league defeat here since last March (W10, D4) will have Los Blancos fans expecting another strong performance against their city rivals. They haven’t lost to Atlético at home since February 2016 (W5, D3) and extending that run would be a fitting way to pay tribute to former player, manager, and honorary president Amancio Amaro, who passed away earlier this week.

Having been dumped out of Europe before Christmas and losing to Real in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, Atlético can now solely concentrate on the league this term, meaning they should be fresher than their battle-weary opponents. Indeed, since that cup defeat, Atlético have gone on a four-match unbeaten run (W3, D1) despite only scoring once in each of those fixtures.

Manager Diego Simeone described their latest win, a 1-0 success over Athletic Bilbao, as a “huge victory” but he’ll be aware that one goal may not be enough to beat Real and consolidate their bid to finish in the top-four. With each of their last four LL away games (W2, D1, L1) producing under 2.5 goals though, a closely-fought, low-scoring encounter in the latest instalment of a derby first played in 1906 can’t be ruled out.

Players to watch: After becoming the first Real player to score in six different competitions in one season, a goal here would see Karim Benzema emulate Amancio, who once scored in four consecutive Madrid derby appearances. The Frenchman has netted in his last three appearances against Atlético while his compatriot, Antoine Griezmann, a veteran of 24 Madrid derbies, scored the winner the last time Atléti won at the Bernabéu.

Hot streak: None of the last nine LL H2Hs produced more than one goal after half-time (Real: W5, D3, L1).