La Liga sides Atletico Madrid will host Real Madrid in the Madrid derby fixture on Saturday. Both teams will aim to gain some crucial points which will give them an edge in the battle of chasing table-toppers Barcelona in Spain’s top-flight football league.

Atletico Madrid’s head coach Diego Simeone has praised Real Madrid and its Croatia midfielder Luka Modric ahead of a La Liga derby game that pits the bitter cross-town rivals against each other.

“Modric is still the most decisive player at Real Madrid,” Simeone said on Friday, stressing the improvement Madrid has made since the arrival of his fellow Argentinian coach Santiago Solari.

Halfway through the first half of the season, Madrid was at a lowly ninth spot in La Liga’s table after their heavy 1-5 defeat to Barcelona that cost then-coach Julen Lopetegui his post.

But under Solari, Madrid has worked its way back into the top five and is now third with 42 points, but it trails leader Barcelona by eight points after 22 matches into the season.

Simeone also stressed the depth Madrid has gained under Solari, with players such as forward Vinicius of Brazil and Spanish winger Lucas Vazquez, who opened the scoring during Madrid’s 1-1 draw against nemesis Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal also referred to as a Clasico.

The good state of form that France forward Karim Benzema has been experiencing did not go unnoticed by Simeone, who said the French international has been going through a “fantastic moment”.

Benzema found the back of the net three times over the most recent two league games – scoring twice in Madrid’s 4-2 win over Espanyol and opening the scoring in their 3-0 win over Alaves, while he assisted on their lone goal in the 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

Atletico could face one of its former players, should Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois play. He joined Madrid after a four-year spell at the cross-town rival. (IANS Inputs)

Here’s everything you need to know about Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid in La Liga:

When is the Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga?

The Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga is on February 9.

What time does the Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga start?

The Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga starts at 8:45 PM IST.

Where will the Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga take place?

The Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga will be played at Wanda Metropolitano (Atletico Madrid Home Stadium).

Which channel will telecast the Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga on TV?

The Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga will be telecasted live on Sony Ten 2/HD in India.

How to watch live streaming of Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga?

The live streaming of Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid match in La Liga will be available on SonyLiv.

Recent form (all competitions):

Atletico Madrid– DWDWWL
Real Madrid – WWWWWD

Head to Head:
This will be the 162nd league meeting between the two sides and Real Madrid lead the head-to-head 86 wins to Atletico’s 39, with the further 38 fixtures finishing all square. Interestingly, all their last four fixtures have ended in draws.

Prediction: 2-2

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Arias, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas Hernandez; Koke, Thomas, Rodri, Saul; Griezmann, Morata

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Lucas