Ronaldo and Roberto feature in list of players who might miss El Clasico

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While Barcelona’s loss to Malaga and Real Madrid’s draw against Atletico Madrid might have all but decided the league this season, El Clasico will still grab all the attention, for obvious reasons.

But while some players will be itching to take part in the Clasico and help their team succeed, some might have to sit out and miss the eagerly anticipated clash.

Los Blancos star forward Cristiano Ronaldo might be one of them, along with his team-mate Nacho. Sergi Roberto, who scored the final goal in Barca’s 6-1 win over PSG, along with defender Jordi Alba could miss out too.

You might wonder why, but all these players are just one yellow card away from missing what could be the title decider.

Well, all we can say is that a Clasico without CR7, certainly sounds boring.

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Statistical comparison between Sergio Ramos and Diego Godin

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The heat is on in La Liga as tabletoppers Real Madrid face Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

And while the forwards from both teams – mainly Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann – will fancy their chances, it will also be a battle of defences.

Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos has been instrumental this season, not just with solidity at the back, but also with crucial match-winning headers.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan Diego Godin too has been a pillar of strength for Atletico and will be looking to make a difference for Diego Simeone’s side.

In below stat, WhoScored.com compares the two star defenders as we approach the Madrid Derby.

Who do you think is a better defender?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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Five key talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Atletico

Andy West 7/04/2017
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Where will Saturday’s La Liga tie between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid be settled?

Here, we look at some key talking points ahead of the game.

Can Real make possession count?

At home to Real Sociedad on Tuesday night, Atletico sat back, soaked up pressure and saw the visitors control nearly 70 per cent of possession.

Just like they wanted. Diego Simeone is a rare contemporary example of a manager who has no interest in attempting to command possession of the ball, and he is sure to send out his team in a deep-lying strategy, relying on the pace of Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco to wreak havoc on the break if Real over-commit. Madrid, therefore, must play with patience and balance rather than attempting to force the issue.

Simeone.

Simeone.

Atletico’s attacking width

In several recent derbies, Atletico have enjoyed great success by taking advantage of the lack of defensive support given to Real full-backs Marcelo and Dani Carvajal and launching their attacks down the wings.

That was particularly the case in their 4-0 win two years ago, when all four goals came from crosses. Full-backs Juanfran and Filipe Luis are masters at making well-timed runs to provide attacking width, and they can also both produce excellent deliveries into the box. Madrid cannot afford for them to become significant factors in the game and must ensure they are tracked whenever they come forward.

Luis.

Luis.

Set-piece strategy

Real have scored more goals directly from corners than any other La Liga team this season (nine) and Sergio Ramos’s set-piece heroics are already legendary – in no small part due to his injury time goal in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico.

The ‘Kroos to Ramos’ equation has bailed out Real time and again, and stopping them is easier said than done.

At the other end of the field, Atletico are also very dangerous from free-kicks and corners, with assistant coach Mono Burgos everinventive in his set-piece planning, so don’t be surprised if Diego Godin manages to out-Ramos Ramos.

Ramos.

Ramos.

The midfield battleground

The battle between Real enforcer Casemiro and visiting skipper Gabi is not one for the feint-hearted, and the identity of the winner will go a long way towards deciding which team controls the flow of the game.

With Luka Modric and Toni Kroos on one side, and Koke and Saul Niguez on the other, both teams possess gifted ball players in midfield.

Minimising their influence to cut out the supply lines to the forwards will be crucial, and Real’s trio will certainly have to work tirelessly to overcome an Atletico midfield which is perhaps the most combative in the world.

Gabi.

Gabi.

Zidane’s dynamite bench

Real’s scintillating opening burst at Leganes on Wednesday hammered home the message that Zidane is blessed with more backup attacking options than he knows what to do with.

Young winger Marco Asensio, for instance, was the star of the show, but probably won’t even make the squad today. With outstanding players like James Rodriguez,

Isco, Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vazquez all likely to be on the bench, Zidane’s use of his substitutes could be crucial.

The ‘BBC’ of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are no longer untouchable, and Zidane’s matchwinner may well have a different identity.

Zidane.

Zidane.

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