Atletico and Real to Contest Final Madrid Derby at Calderon

Nov 18, 2016 by Alex Baker

Real Madrid will make the short journey across town to the Vicente Calderon possibly for the last time on Saturday as they meet Atletico Madrid for the final La Liga derby to be contested at the storied stadium.

Saturday’s derby pits the best attack in the league against the best defense. While Real Madrid have scored 53 goals in all competitions this season, Atletico have only given up nine.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has received a boost on the injury front with defender Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema having returned to full training this week. Both are likely to start against Atleti, while Pepe, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Alvaro Morata remain sidelined by injuries.

Benzema is likely to spearhead Madrid’s attack along with the other two members of the “BBC,”... Read More

Atletico Face Bayern in Champions League Re-match

Sep 27, 2016 by Alex Baker

The last time Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich squared off in the Champions League the La Liga outfit knocked the Bundesliga powerhouse out of Europe’s elite club competition. Bayern actually won that match 2-1, but went out anyway on away goals.

The two meet again on Wednesday night at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid.

In spite of their domestic dominance, Bayern have struggled away from home in the Champions League since last winning the competition in 2013. The five-time European champions have won just two of their last 10 away fixtures in the competition.

Under Pep Guardiola, Bayern had a particularly hard time against Spanish opposition, being knocked out by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico in the past three seasons.

New Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti will be... Read More

Barca Take on Atletico in Midweek La Liga Action

Sep 20, 2016 by Alex Baker

La Liga Big Three in Action Wednesday

It’s a crowded week for European soccer fixtures and Spain’s “big three” will be in action this Wednesday in a tight La Liga race. Barcelona, currently sitting in second, will face fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in the first big La Liga contest of the season. Real Madrid meanwhile, will look to hold onto their narrow lead at the top of the table as they face Villarreal.

Here’s what to watch:

Real Madrid vs. Villarreal

Real Madrid have a perfect record so far this season under Zinedine Zidane and will be confident they can maintain that when they welcome Villarreal to the Santiago Bernabeu Wednesday. Real have scored 12 goals in La Liga this season while letting in just four. Apart... Read More

La Liga Round 1 Review: Barca is as Barca Does

Aug 22, 2016 by Alex Baker

Spain’s “big three” were all in action this weekend as the new La Liga season got underway. While many of the league’s biggest stars are still working their way back from their exploits on international duty this summer, there was no shortage of action as the most quality league in Europe resumed for its 85th season.

Barcelona 6 – 2 Real Betis

New season, same old Barcelona. Even without Neymar, who was busy winning an Olympic gold medal with Brazil, the Blaugrana were resplendent in a comprehensive rout of Real Betis at the Camp Nou. It took Barça just five minutes to get things going with Arda Turan latching onto a cut back from Jordi Alba and slotting home from close-range.

Real Betis responded positively and pulled one... Read More

Atletico Season Preview: Holding onto Griezmann Key

Aug 05, 2016 by Alex Baker

While Atletico Madrid has just completed the successful signing of Kevin Gameiro the biggest the coup the Madrid outfit can accomplish this summer will be to keep hold of Antoine Griezmann. The France forward was the best player at Euro 2016 and could easily be the hottest property on the market if he were to become even slightly available.

The Frenchman scored 32 goals in all competitions for Atleti last season and helped propel them to a second Champions League final in three seasons. Earlier this month it was revealed that Griezmann had rejected an offer from Paris Saint-Germain with Manchester United and Arsenal also rumored to have expressed interest.

While Griezmann has been outstanding for Atleti, the club has lacked a truly reliable center forward ever since Diego... Read More

Atletico Madrid’s Title Challenge Builds Momentum

Jan 18, 2016 by Alex Baker

Two seasons after becoming the first club not called Barcelona or Real Madrid to win the La Liga title in more than a decade, Atletico Madrid again find themselves leading the Spanish title race. A handy 3-0 win over a gritty Los Palmas was enough to see Diego Simeone’s men preserve their two-point lead over Barça in second.

With the season at the halfway point and Atleti on top, the murmurs that another title challenge could be on are growing louder. Yes, Barcelona have a game in hand and are the best team in the world again. Yes, Real Madrid have more money and are flying high under new manager Zinedine Zidane. But there’s just something about this Atleti side.

Simeone, who is quick to play down Atleti’s title... Read More

Real and Barça Both Win to Maintain Tight La Liga Race

Oct 19, 2015 by Alex Baker

Although it’s still early days, the La Liga title race is currently as tight as it’s been in decades. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Celta Vigo all jointly sit top of the table on 18 points each. The last time the La Liga race was this close was in the 1993-94 season when Real, Barça and Real Sociedad jointly occupied the top spot.

Trailing just slightly behind, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal are currently tied on 16 points each, bringing it to a total of five teams currently in contention to top the standings in Spain.

Despite both being hit by a spate of injuries, Real and Barça maintained their winning ways this weekend: Real Madrid dispatched Levante 3-0 on Saturday with Marcelo opening the scoring 27 minutes in. Moments later, Cristiano... Read More

Ronaldo’s Shift to Striker Could Test Atleti’s Derby Dominance

Oct 02, 2015 by Alex Baker

The Vicente Calderon has not been an easy place for Real Madrid to go in recent years. Last time they visited, they lost 4-0. That was during Carlo Ancelotti’s time in charge, during which Real failed to register a single win over Atleti in La Liga.

But now, with a new manager in charge and having beaten Atletico in the Champions League the last time the two met, Real Madrid are likely to be more confident going into this weekend’s fixture than they’ve been for some time; especially with Atletico still smarting from losing at home in the Champions League for the first time under Diego Simeone.

With just two points separating them in the table, both sides have it all to play for on Sunday. Atletico are notorious... Read More

Ter Stegen to Make La Liga Debut Against Atletico

Sep 09, 2015 by Alex Baker

More than one year after signing for Barcelona, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is finally set to make his La Liga debut against Atletico Madrid Saturday. While Ter Stegen featured in Barça’s successful Champions League and Copa del Rey campaigns last season, coach Luis Enrique favored Claudio Bravo when it came to league outings.

But after straining his right calf in training on Monday, the Chilean keeper is in doubt for Saturday’s clash at the Vicente Calderon. While last season Enrique chose to start Jordi Masip for the one La Liga match Bravo was unavailable for, reports in Spain have tipped Ter Stegen as the man who will step in this time.

Based on Ter Stegen’s most recent appearances in a Blaugrana jersey -– a 5-4 win over Sevilla, and... Read More

Atletico Madrid Come Out on Top in Transfer Dealings

Sep 02, 2015 by Alex Baker

The European transfer window slammed shut Tuesday and in terms of the business done this summer, Atletico Madrid left its La Liga competition in the dust. Unlike Barcelona, Atleti weren’t encumbered by any kind of UEFA imposed sanctions. Unlike Real Madrid, Los Colchoneros avoided getting dragged into any kind of protracted transfer drama.

Instead, Diego Simeone got his transfer dealings done early and sensibly. As is customary with Atletico, several key players left – Arda Turan to Barcelona, Mario Mandzukic to Juventus – but somehow those losses don’t seem as staggering as in past seasons.

In fact Jackson Martinez, signed from Porto earlier in the window, looks to be an upgrade to Mandzukic. And while it may take time to see how well Yannick Ferreira Carrasco does in terms of... Read More

Atletico Madrid Season Preview

Aug 17, 2015 by Alex Baker

Last season Atletico Madrid failed to hit the heights it had two seasons ago, when Diego Simeone’s team stormed to a La Liga title and came within 90 seconds of winning the Champions League. Instead, Atleti finished third, 14 points behind second-place Real Madrid and 16 behind Barcelona.

As has become almost customary for Los Colchoneros, Atleti has again seen a star striker depart the club, as Mario Mandzukic left for Juventus. But Atletico has managed to keep hold of last season’s leading scorer, Antoine Griezmann, and more importantly, Diego Simeone remains as the club’s manager, having signed a contract extension that will see him stay at the Vicente Calderon until 2018.

Defender Diego Godin has also signed on to remain at the club, despite interest from Manchester City, who... Read More

Atleti Holds Advantage Ahead of Champions League Clash with Real

Apr 13, 2015 by Alex Baker

Real Madrid is in an interesting position at the moment. Although favorites to win this season’s Champions League, according to a new study put out by CIES Football Observatory, Carlo Ancelotti’s men must first get past Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid – a team they’ve failed to beat in their last six encounters.

The city-rivals square off against one another on Tuesday in the first part of a two-legged tie that will send one team through to the semis and the other back to Madrid. Atletico are the home team for the first leg so Real Madrid face the daunting task of meeting their bitter rivals in the intimidating atmosphere of the Vicente Calderon. The Calderon is never an easy place for visiting teams and the last time Real paid a... Read More

Second Draw in a Row Sees Atletico’s Title Hopes Slipping

Mar 09, 2015 by Alex Baker

In a weekend that basically saw the La Liga title race turned on its head, Atletico Madrid missed an opportunity to close the gap on Real Madrid and Barcelona by giving up a draw at home to Valencia.

Diego Simeone’s men had taken a first half lead through Koke who, with a little help from Tiago, got onto the end of a set-piece delivery from Gabi to put Atleti ahead with just over half an hour gone by.

Normally you’d expect Atletico to go on to win after taking the lead. Since Simeone’s arrival, the Los Colchoneros have proved masterful at managing out 1-0 leads. They give nothing away, especially at the Calderon, and as their opponents become increasingly frustrated, Atleti often strike again. This season they’ve run up several... Read More

Arsene Wenger Rubbishes Cazorla to Atleti Rumors

Feb 20, 2015 by Alex Baker

Arsene Wenger has thrown cold water on new rumors about Santi Cazorla leaving Arsenal for Atletico Madrid. The Spanish playmaker had been linked with a move to Atleti last summer. And it’s no secret the La Liga champions covet Cazorla’s silky skills as a potential compliment to their often steely midfield.

But in his Friday press conference, the Arsenal boss was quick to rubbish such talk.

Speaking to AS, Wenger said: “He extended his contract last year. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, we’ve not been approached.”

In a midfield running over with talent, it’s Cazorla who’s so often been the key man this season. His link-up play, ability to slip past defenders, and reliability in taking penalties in Mikel Arteta’s absence, have earned him two consecutive... Read More

See all Atletico Madrid