Real are unbeaten in 21, Atletico in 23. Who will come out on top at the Bernabeu? Unibet's Michael Da Silva is siding with Los Blancos...
These are unusual times in Madrid.
For the first time in decades, Real are in Atletico’s shadow and Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final between the city rivals give Diego Simeone’s side the chance to win a third consecutive match against Los Blancos.
It’s not that Real are playing badly – they are unbeaten in 21 games - it’s just that Atletico are in sensational form. Their current 23-game unbeaten run – which included games against Barcelona, Porto, Zenit and three against Valencia – has elevated them to the top of La Liga. And they are still in the mix in the Champions League and, of course, the Copa del Rey.
Real’s defeat by Atletico in the final of the 2013 Copa will be fresh in their minds going into tonight’s game, but Real have improved since then – something Carlo Ancelotti was keen to remind the assembled press on Tuesday.
"It is true Atletico have beaten Real Madrid in La Liga, but Madrid have changed a lot," Ancelotti said. "We deserved to lose that game, but on Wednesday it will be a very different team. We have a lot of confidence now, the team is balanced. To win a derby is really important - for the fans and the club. It is always a really important game."
Simeone, meanwhile, has ensured that his side will not sit back at the Bernabeu and will go there and attack. “Atletico is one of the strongest teams in Europe,” he said. “It is always difficult to play against Real, but we are going there to win.”
Sounds like there could be goals in this one.
Real are expected to field Cristiano Ronaldo, who is about to start a three-match ban for his red card at Atletic Bilbao on Sunday, and Gareth Bale, who by-and-large, has under-achieved since his bank-busting transfer in the summer.
Infact, Jese Rodriguez has impressed on the right wing during Bale’s recent absence through injury, and there have been calls for Ancelotti to keep him in the team.
Ancelotti is expected to start with goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who has started each of Real’s Copa matches.
Atletico, whose preparations for this match have been overshadowed by the recent death of former legendary player and coach Luis Aragones, are without David Villa, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, but Simeone can call upon Arda Turan, who is back from injury.
Score prediction: Real 2-1 Atletico at 8.00
Best bet: Both teams to score at 1.77