Real Madrid: 3 key battles to watch at Atleti on Matchday 26

Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid LW Vinicius Junior vs. Atletico Madrid CB Stefan Savic

Vinicius Junior is in good form right now. After an assist against Getafe last month, he scored the game-tying goal late on Monday night against Real Sociedad. Although the 20-year-old Brazilian has been far from perfect, he’s doing a very good job on the left side of the formation in recent weeks, stepping up after Eden Hazard’s latest injury.

He’ll draw a couple of tough matchups, as MARCA has the more defensive Sime Vrsaljko starting on the right-hand side, though Kieran Trippier could potentially be ready to start.

Either way, he’ll have to face Stefan Savic, who might be the most underrated center back in La Liga. Savic is class, and fans in-tune with the league understand the level he’s been playing at this season. Per, he is Atleti’s leader with 1.5 interceptions per game and is only dribbled past 0.3 times per game.

If Vinicius is to provide an incisive attacking threat that actually causes problems for Los Rojiblancos, he’s going to have to get past Savic and make the right decisions against a 30-year-old center back who has seen it all. In this form and given his performance against Atleti in the second half of last season, you wouldn’t put it past Vini to make his mark. But it won’t be easy.