The Madrid derby is looming large and in close proximity with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitting on Friday that current La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid looked promising to win the title.
Atletico last won the Spanish title in 2014, and came a close third last season as Real Madrid won it with Barcelona trailing awkwardly in second place.
“They are favourites and they demonstrate that every time they take the pitch,” Zidane said on the eve of his match against Diego Simeone’s side.
“They have always been highly competitive, and right now they are top of the pile.” Zidane’s side trail Atletico by six points despite having played one more than their poor-cousin city-rivals.
“We know them very well. This is an opportunity for us to show what we are capable of,” he said.
“The press are billing it as a final but here every match is a final.”
Both sides went through to the Champions League knock-out phase in midweek.
The city derby will take place without the customary raucous participation of zealous fans, yet despite Atletico’s 10-game unbeaten run in La Liga, the bookies make Real the favourites to win on Saturday.