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Monday, January 3, 2022

Derby reviews: Real Madrid visit Atletico Madrid as Man City welcome Man Utd

On Sunday (tomorrow) in England and Spain, four teams, will be involved in two local derbies – the Manchester Derby which is football matches between Manchester City and Manchester United and El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby) which is the name given to football matches between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.

The Manchester Derby was first contested in 1881 and have played 182 matches in all competitions till date. The Red Devils as Manchester United is called have won 76 games while the Cityzens have won 55 games, and the remaining 53 having been drawn.

The two teams played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford earlier this season, but Man City overcame Solskjaer’s side in the EFL Cup at the start of January courtesy of a 2-0 success.

Last season’s league clash at the Etihad Stadium ended in a 2-1 victory for Man United, with Rashford and Martial on the scoresheet for the 20-time English champions. As a result, Man City’s last home victory over the Red Devils in any competition was a 3-1 Premier League success in November 2018.

Manchester City will be looking to take another huge step towards winning this season’s Premier League title when they welcome bitter rivals Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

Pep Guardiola’s side, who are on an incredible 21-game winning run in all competitions, top the table, 14 points clear of second-placed Man United, who are very much locked in a battle for a top-four finish

Man City continued their staggering run of form with a 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night, with Gabriel Jesus netting twice and Riyad Mahrez also registering in the latter stages of the contest.

Guardiola’s team have now been victorious in each of their last 21 matches in all competitions, including 15 in the Premier League, which has left them in a very comfortable position at the top of the division.

Mathematically, the title race is far from over, but Man City have a 14-point advantage over second-placed Man United and would take another huge step towards the trophy with a victory in the Manchester derby.

The Citizens have not actually lost in the league since November 21, while they have won every match since back-to-back draws in the middle of December, which included a 0-0 at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture.

The Citizens also have the best home form in the league this season, picking up 35 points from 14 matches, while they have conceded just nine times at the Etihad Stadium in England’s top flight this term.

Man United, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s contest off the back of a disappointing goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night; the Red Devils have managed to hold onto second position but are only five points clear of fifth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand on each of the top four.

Unbeaten away from home in the Premier League since January 2020, Solskjaer’s side are a team to be taken seriously on their travels, but they have drawn eight of their 14 away league games this term, including a stalemate at Chelsea last weekend.

In the same vein, at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid welcome Real Madrid for the 227th Madrid derby on Sunday afternoon.

The previous games across all competitions has seen Real Madrid leading the head-to-head record 112 wins to Atletico’s 56.

Los Blancos have been victorious in 89 of their 167 matches in La Liga, losing 39 times, while they have also won the last two league meetings between the two sides, including a 2-0 success in the reverse game at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in December.

Atletico have not actually beaten Real Madrid in the league since a 1-0 success at the Bernabeu in February 2016, although there have been plenty of draws in recent years, with the pair sharing the points in five of their last eight encounters in Spain’s top flight.

Atletico are currently top of the table, five points clear of third-placed Real Madrid, while Diego Simeone’s side still have a game in hand over both Los Blancos and second-placed Barcelona.

The Red and Whites are bidding to win their 11th La Liga title and first since 2013-14, and there is no question that they have been the best side that Spain’s top flight has to offer this season.

Simeone’s side are the second-highest goalscorers behind Barca, netting 47 times in their 24 matches, with 16 of those coming from Luis Suarez, who has proved to be an inspired signing for the club.

Defensively, meanwhile, Atletico have again been excellent, conceding just 16 times, which is unsurprisingly the best record in Spain’s top flight ahead of Sevilla, who have shipped just 18 goals.

A win for the home side in this game might well end Real Madrid’s hopes of retaining the title, but a draw or a defeat would certainly open the door for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid, as mentioned, currently occupy third position in the table, having picked up 53 points from their 25 matches this season courtesy of 16 wins and five draws.

Zinedine Zidane’s side have struggled during periods of the season and will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad on March 1; Portu’s 55th-minute goal looked to be securing all three points for the visitors, only for Vinicius Junior to level the scores in the 89th minute.

Los Blancos are in good form, though, winning five of their last six in all competitions, including four of their last five in Spain’s top flight to pull themselves into the title picture at this stage.

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and '[email protected]'

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