Real Madrid will aim to extend their lead in the La Liga table as they welcome bitter rivals Atletico Madrid for the Madrid derby at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.


Real Madrid has been excellent this season, securing their spot in the knockout round of the Champions League as Group D winners, in addition to sitting eight points clear at the top of La Liga. A record of 12 wins, three draws and one defeat from 16 matches has brought Carlo Ancelotti’s side 39 points, leaving them eight clear of second-placed Sevilla and 10 ahead of Atletico Madrid in fourth. Real Madrid has incredibly won each of their last nine matches in all competitions, including a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan midweek in the Champions League. They ran out 2-0 winners over Real Sociedad in their last La Liga outing courtesy of goals from Vinicius Junior and Luka Jovic. Defensive solidity has seen Real Madrid concede just four goals in their last ten games in all competitions. On a more positive note, Real Madrid hasn’t lost a La Liga game to Atletico Madrid since a 1-0 defeat in 2016. Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos remain absent for Los Blancos, Karim Benzema is a major doubt. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo should both start in the final third of the field, while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are set to join Casemiro in midfield again.


Atletico Madrid will need a positive result if they are to stay in touch with the leaders, but the reigning La Liga champions have found it difficult to show consistency in recent weeks. Diego Simeone’s side suffered a shock 2-1 home loss to Mallorca in their last La Liga outing, with the result seeing them drop down to the fourth spot in the table, two points behind second-placed Sevilla and 10 off the top. Atletico Madrid did manage to secure a huge victory midweek in the Champions League, recording a 3-1 win over Porto to progress to the last-16 stage of the competition as Group B runners-up. Diego Simeone’s side are the second-highest scorers in La Liga this season behind Real Madrid, finding the back of the net on 27 occasions and conceding 16 times. Atletico has not beaten Los Blancos in La Liga since a 1-0 victory at Bernabeu during the 2015-16 campaign, although five of the last eight La Liga meetings between the two sides have finished level, including a 1-1 draw at Wanda Metropolitano back in March. Diego Simeone received an injury blow as Luis Suarez picked up a muscular injury against Porto while Kieran Trippier and Stefan Savic remain unavailable for selection.