Los Blancos travel across the Spanish capital to take on Atletico Madrid, who are the current LaLiga leader and has a five-point lead at the top with a game in hand.

Real Madrid must always win

Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that no matter how the Madrid derby goes on Sunday, Real Madrid are well and truly in the title race. Los Blancos travel across the Spanish capital to take on Atletico Madrid, who are the current LaLiga leader and has a five-point lead at the top with a game in hand. “It is the final, but like all matches,” Zidane said during Saturday’s pre-match press conference. “We must always win. But no matter what happens, we will stay alive in LaLiga. We’re focused on playing well.” Zidane has confirmed that Karim Benzema is back and available for Sunday’s derby, which is good news after Real Madrid have only scored one goal in each of their last three games. “We know what Karim is; he is important to us,” Zidane said.

The team must defend and then create chances

“Karim will be there tomorrow. He is important in our system of play, especially when we have the ball. We indeed want to score more goals. It is important to create chances. Then each player can give more. Everyone can give more, and everyone wants to improve their scoring performance. I remember that I did not score many goals with the quality I had and wanted to improve my scoring performance. In defence, we did well, and that is our strength. It is a question for everyone, and we are doing well. We must continue in this vein: defend and then create chances. But the first thing is to be strong defensively.” The French coach was asked about Eden Hazard’s return from injury after reports began emerging on Friday that he had suffered a relapse.

“There is no relapse for Eden; we want him to come back 100 per cent,” Zidane said. “We go little by little, without haste and we have to rely on how he feels. The important thing is that when he comes back, he feels strong. We are not risking anything with his return, but he is fine, and I hope he can be with us next week.”