Ronaldo
Ronaldo

Torres looks set to make his 200th appearance for Atletico and is also just two goals away from scoring his 100th goal for the club. That may be a long way behind Cristiano Ronaldo who will break Raul Gonzalez’s record of 323 goals for Real Madrid should he score, but for a player who was brought up as an Atletico fan, it is no less significant.

Ronaldo
Ronaldo

The two sides are more than familiar with each other after meeting eight times last season, and although Atletico had the better of their neighbors in the Spanish Supercup, the Spanish Cup and the Primera Liga, Real Madrid got their revenge by knocking them out of the Champions League.

They have a chance to place Atletico under early pressure in the league this season as Diego Simeone’s side go into the tie on the back of a league defeat in Villarreal and a loss at home to Benfica in the Champions League.

Another defeat for Atletico would be their third league defeat of the campaign, given they lost to Barcelona in the third round of games and three defeats in seven matches would leave them with a lot of ground to make up.

Atletico have looked flat in recent games with big money signing, Jackson Martinez so far failing to show the form he produced in Porto last year and the side is missing the energy and creativity of Koke in midfield.

Real Madrid meanwhile should welcome Gareth Bale back into the side after injury, although James Rodriguez’s muscle injury will keep him out of action until after the international break.

Rafael Benitez has formed a side which has become a lot harder to score goals against but a draw at home to Malaga showed there is still work to do. Sunday should prove to be a test of both sides’ capacity to win this season’s title. Endtem

Source: Xinhua

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