Real Madrid: 3 Man of the Match candidates against Atleti

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

GK Thibaut Courtois

The two best goalkeepers in La Liga – and maybe in the whole world, though Manuel Neuer obviously has something to say about that – will face off again this Sunday. In their last meeting, Thibaut Courtois got the better of Jan Oblak in a 2-0 win for Los Blancos, and the former Atleti man has definitely enjoyed playing against his former team. Since the start of last season, Courtois has not allowed a goal against Los Rojiblancos in four matches!

This season, Atleti have a much more dangerous attack since adding Luis Suarez, who is second in the league behind Lionel Messi with 16 goals. Even if Joao Felix cannot play, the likes of Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa still give Real’s crosstown rivals sufficient attacking quality.

Still, I expect Courtois to be up to the task of handling Atleti. He only allowed one goal during the month of February before surrendering another against La Real, and you just know he wants to get back in the clean sheet column. And for Courtois, a clean sheet against league leaders Atletico Madrid in a heated title race would mean that much more, particularly given his record against his former employers.

Plus, if Courtois can get a clean sheet at Oblak’s expense, that will be a personal boost for the Belgian in his pursuit of a second consecutive Zamora Trophy.