Vinicius and Griezmann duo do battle in Madrid derby

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti labelled Vinicius Junior one of the most decisive participant on this planet this week – however on Saturday in La Liga he faces one more contender, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

Although the France ahead completed a runner-up on the World Cup and Atletico are struggling in fourth place, Griezmann is in gleaming type. Diego Simeone’s area are 4 factors away from Real Betis in fifth and their solely objective now’s to safe Champions League qualification for subsequent season.

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Atletico followers have regarded on jealously over the previous fortnight as European competitors resumed devoid of them, after their group stage elimination and failure to even drop into the Europa League. A win over Madrid would brighten the temper, however the ‘Rojiblancos’ haven’t gained inside the league on the Santiago Bernabeu since 2016.

“We’ve got to win, whatever happens, and end our poor run at their ground,” Griezmann informed ‘La Liga’. “We have our objective, and that is to win all our games and then see how that turns out. We’ve been working hard and heading in the right direction.”

Griezmann joined Atletico after their 2014 title triumph and moved to Barcelona earlier than they gained it once more in 2020, that means he has in no way gained the league. With Atletico 18 factors behind the leaders that is not going to change this season, however in opposition to Madrid he might lay a decisive blow in favour of his former area – one simply as considerable as something he managed in a Barcelona shirt.

The ahead scored a superb solo objective final weekend to support Atletico earn a slender 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. “Griezmann is decisive for us,” pronounced Simeone. “When he’s playing well, the team hits another level.” Griezmann has instantly participated in 45 percentage of Atletico’s league pursuits, with seven strikes and 7 assists, in spite of solely taking part in 72 percentage of the staff’s minutes this season. 

During the primary few months of the marketing campaign he was solely getting used for brief intervals in view that of a purchase order situation in his Barcelona mortgage contract which Atletico have been attempting to evade fulfilling. Eventually Simeone’s area purchased Griezmann outright at a low cost and it has paid off handsomely, even nevertheless their season as a complete has been bitterly disappointing.

Madrid, in contrast, continue to be inside the Champions League and winger Vinicius performed a key function with a brace as they thrashed Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield on Tuesday. “Today, in my personal opinion, he is the most decisive player in world soccer,” Ancelotti pronounced midweek. “He doesn’t stop, dribbling, assists, goals. Now he is the most decisive player. I hope he can continue like that.”

The conflict with Atletico brings returned terrible latest recollections for Vinicius, after an effigy of the Brazilian winger was hung from a bridge outdoors Madrid’s instruction floor earlier than they clashed inside the Copa del Rey in January. Madrid gained that activity 3-1, with Vinicius scoring in extra-time to seal the triumph.

‘Los Blancos’ additionally beat Atletico 2-1 in La Liga in September, a conflict marred by racist chants aimed toward Vinicius outdoors the Metropolitano. The ahead will probably be devoid of strike associate Rodrygo, and David Alaba is additionally injured for Madrid, whilst Atletico will probably be lacking midfielder Rodrigo de Paul. All eyes will probably be on Vinicius and Griezmann because the two skilful, resourceful forwards attempt to encourage their sides to derby victory.

Fixtures (GMT)

Friday

Elche v Real Betis (20.00)

Saturday

Espanyol v Real Mallorca (13.00), Cadiz v Rayo Vallecano (15.15), Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid (17.30), Valencia v Real Sociedad (20.00)

Sunday

Athletic Bilbao v Girona (13.00), Celta Vigo v Real Valladolid (15.15), Almeria v Barcelona (17.30), Sevilla v Osasuna (20.00)

Monday

Villarreal v Getafe (20.00)

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