To say it’s been a contrasting start to the season for the two major teams in Madrid would be a massive understatement. On one side, Real are already starting to look like the real deal and currently sit top of the La Liga table with 11 goals and 9 points from their opening three matches. On the other side, Athletico are in turmoil and are second from bottom with just a point to their name.
The vultures are circling at the Vicente Calderon stadium and another defeat for Athletico on Wednesday could be the final straw for manager Abel Resino. There were protests by fans after a disappointing home draw with Racing Santander and the mood has not been helped by a Champions League stalemate with Cypriot minnows APOEL, followed by a comfortable 5-2 reverse at Barcelona.
Atleti play host to Almeria on Wednesday and may be without star striker Sergio Aguero who sustained a knock to the thigh on Saturday. However the Argentine international is refusing to panic.
“The season has only just started and there is still too much in front of us for everyone to start feeling sorry for themselves” said Aguero.
Meanwhile, neighbours Real face a difficult trip as they take on new coach Manuel Pellegrini’s former club, Villarreal. Pellegrini worked wonders at El Madrigal but will be hoping for an away victory on Wednesday. Los Merengues appeared to step up a gear as they thrashed Xerez 5-0 at the weekend and £80million man Christiano Ronaldo thinks that they can get even better.
“I don’t think it is a problem of adapting to a new system, we have to improve but we aren’t doing badly.” said Ronaldo after Sunday’s victory.
Elsewhere, La Liga champions Barcelona will be hoping to extend their 100% start as they visit Racing Santander and surprise package Athletic Bilbao will also be going for four wins out of four when they travel to Tenerife.