El Centrocampista

Final by numbers: The stats behind the Madrid derby

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Real Madrid play neighbours Atlético at the Santiago Bernabéu tonight,  in the final of the Copa Del Rey.

But before the big game we here at El Centrocampista are on hand to take a look of some of the most interesting stats that could impact on which side of Madrid will be celebrating come the final whistle.

It is impossible to talk about Real Madrid vs Atlético without mentioning, right from the start that Atlético haven’t beaten Madrid in this millennium; including this season, where they suffered a defeat at home against a Real Madrid “B side” less than a month ago.

25 matches without a win, four years without even a draw, over 100 players and 10 coaches that couldn´t get a victory. The Colchoneros streak is a memorable one and one they will be keen to banish to the history books tonight.

In fact, only Iker Casillas remains in either squad that saw Atlético beat Madrid 1-3 at the Bernabéu some 14 years on 7th March 1999.

Atlético fans must cling on to the fact that the odds have to be going their way sooner rather than later, and what better time than in a final?

This season

Despite their terrible streak against the whites, the truth is that the Colchoneros are having their best season since 1996 where they won both Cup and League. In fact, this year will be the first time since the ‘double’ season that they will finish in the top three of La Liga.

Atlético have won 22 of their 36 La Liga matches this term and have only lost three more than Real Madrid so far, two of which were unsuprisingly against Mourinho’s side. They also host the best defensive record in La Liga, only conceding an impressive average of 0.83 goals a game.

On the other hand, Real Madrid will finish the league ahead of their city rivals but will look back on their season with one of dissapointment. Mourinhos sides title hopes evaporated fairly early on and they have pretty much spent all the league 10 points or more away from Barcelona.

Their stats are a mere shadow of what they were last season where they broke the records of points and goals by a Spanish team.

Perhaps the most telling reason as to Madrid’s underperformance is their inconsistency;  in every single La Liga month they have dropped at least two points.

Goalkeepers and defenders

Thibaut Courtois has been the best goalkeeper in La Liga so far and is on his way to his first Zamora, the award for the best goalkeeper in Spain. The on loan Chelsea goalkeeper, leads the league with 19 clean sheets and Atlético’s defence didn’t concede a single goal in the Cup until the quarter finals.

In addition, Atletico have managed to field their strongest defence more often than that, and that consistancy has seen Godín, Miranda and Juanfran play in 18 of the teams 19 clean sheets with Filipe Luis has playing in 17.

On the other side of the city, Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego López has performed above expectations since joining the white and has improved his percentage of saves from 52% to 70% since returning to the Bernabeu.

However, Mou’s defence has been flimsy at best, and despite Lopez’s heroics he has only managed to keep two clean sheets in 15 matches for Madrid.

In the Cup, Madrid have managed only three clean sheets in seven matches and it’s been over a month since their last league clean sheet. In addition, their defence has been dealt a blow with the news that Varane will miss the Cup after picking a knee injury and there is a level of uncertainty regarding Sergio Ramos and Arbeloa’s fitness and Pepe’s relationship with Mou.

Midfield and attack

If Real Madrid have problems in the back, they compensate everything up front and in the midfield. Mou’s side has three players with 10 assists in Liga in Ozil, Ronaldo and Benzema, with the latter two also scoring 10 or more goals, in the case of the Portuguese 34.

Ronaldo also has a chance of winning the Pichichi of the Cup with six goals so far, just one fewer than Diego Costa.

Madrid’s offensive power and creative midfield is going to test a midfield that is that isn’t near the same level. Koke leads his team in La Liga assists with eight follow by Diego Costa with seven and Arda Turan with four.

The Colchoneros don’t have many weapons up front either as with 28 league goals; Falcao has scored 45% of Atlético’s goal this season.

Apart from the Colombian no one has scored more than eight goals this season in the league.

Possible advantages

Surprisingly so, experience in big moments may be a key factor for Atletíco. Simeone’s side has played five finals since May 2010 winning four of them. Their only defeat, in their last Copa Del Rey final against Sevilla.

With the Argentinean in the dugout, Atlético have played two finals winning both by three goals against Athletic Bilbao and Chelsea.

Even the staunchest Atletico Madrid fan will be hard pressed to argue that on paper, Real Madrid are the better all round better team. Ronaldo, Ozil, Benzema and Modric are a handful for any defence and tonight, you would expect the same.

Mou’s side has also the confidence of beating this team a month ago.

Verdict

This really is a final where anything can happen. Real Madrid are understandably the bookmakers favourites, but Atletico Madrid are in with a real shouts – if you pardon the pun – of ending their curse against their rivals.

90 minutes may not be enough to seperate these two.




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