The Numbers Game: Simeone plotting to halt free-scoring Real Madrid in record-breaking derby

By Sports Desk February 24, 2023

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone is plotting to bring Real Madrid back down to earth when he makes history in Saturday's derby at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Argentina midfielder will take charge of his 425th LaLiga game as Atleti boss, which is more than any other coach has overseen for one club in the Spanish top flight.

Simeone will also match Luis Aragones' record tally of 612 competitive matches in the dugout for the capital club, taking in all competitions.

Los Blancos could ensure Simeone is no mood to celebrate after maintaining their impressive form by coming from two goals down to hammer Liverpool 5-2 in the Champions League at Anfield on Tuesday.

Ahead of kick-off, Stats Perform previews the big game with a healthy serving of Opta data.

 

Derby delight in short supply for Atleti

Atleti have only won one of their last 13 LaLiga meetings against their city rivals, Yannick Carrasco's penalty securing a 1-0 victory last May.

Los Blancos have come out on top in six and drawn as many times in the other dozen encounters.

Simeone's side have suffered three consecutive LaLiga losses at the home of their rivals without scoring a goal.

Carlo Ancelotti's men have already beaten Atleti twice this season, most recently a 3-1 Copa del Rey triumph after extra time last month.

Ruthless champions firing on all cylinders

Madrid have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after putting sorry Liverpool to the sword on Merseyside in an incredible first leg.

Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema helped themselves to doubles as the holders stormed back from sliding two goals down inside 15 minutes.

The LaLiga and European champions, who also won the Club World Cup this month, have won five games in a row and scored 20 goals in the process.

Second-placed Madrid are eight points behind leaders Barcelona and 10 better off than Atleti, who occupy fourth spot.

Atleti building momentum

Simeone's side have also improved of late, winning three times and drawing with Getafe since losing the Copa del Rey derby tie.

All three of those wins were by 1-0 margins, and Atletico have not been beaten in six LaLiga matches.

That is their longest unbeaten run in the competition this season, moving them two points behind third-placed Real Sociedad.

Beware Benzema

Madrid captain Karim Benzema's double against the Reds ensured he has scored five goals in his last three matches.

The Ballon d'Or winner has 17 goals in all competition this season despite enduring injury frustration.

Benzema has enjoyed facing Atleti, scoring in three of his last four derbies in LaLiga. He will be looking to find the back of the net against Simeone's side in a third consecutive game.

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