A spectacle is waiting to be witnessed today as Spanish La Liga giants, Real Madrid, take on bitter rivals, Atletico Madrid in the first Madrid derby of this year.
This will be Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane’s first Madrid derby as a coach with his coaching abilities still under scrutiny ever since he replaced Rafael Benitez at the helm.
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The former World Cup winner saw his team draw at Malaga which comes as a big blow to the team’s title credentials as they are now nine points behind bitter rivals Barcelona in the race for the title.
Zidane told a press conference: “I hear a lot of people doubting my abilities as a coach but everybody can think freely – I just concentrate on my own work.
Moreover, Gareth Bale and Pepe remain on the sidelines while Marcelo is also out of this clash which makes things a little complicated for the hosts who really need some inspiration to beat a team whose title hopes were also hit seriously following last weekend’s goalless draw against Villarreal.
However, Diego Simeone’s men are a point ahead of their city rivals and the Argentine tactician feels that regardless of what the others do, it is always important for his side to win the games and do what they can to stand a chance to mount a title assault.
Central defender Jose Gimenez returns from suspension and will pair up with Diego Godin. Augusto Fernandez on the other hand, could be set to make his first start since suffering a knee injury against Barcelona.