Football

Griezmann wants to ruin Real's crucial fortnight

REAL MADRID ATLETICO MADRID

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann believes his side can inflict a blow to a season-defining fortnight for Real Madrid, as Los Rojiblancos eye a record fourth straight La Liga win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Griezmann scored the winner last season as Atletico became the first side in history to beat Real at the Bernabeu in La Liga for three straight seasons.

"I see us as favourites. I believe in my teammates and the coach," said Griezmann.

Despite their triple assault on the Bernabeu, Atletico have still had to play second fiddle to Real after losing to their city rivals in the Champions League for each of the past three seasons - twice in the final.

Real were also the dominant force when the sides last met in November, as Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick sealed a 3-0 win.

Zinedine Zidane's men lead Barcelona at the top of the table by two points and have a game in hand on their title rivals with Atletico 10 points back in third.

"We have to win more for the fans than for the points," added Griezmann. "Real played great and caused us a lot of damage. Now it is a different story. We know it is going to be difficult, but I believe in my teammates. We are more complete now."

Inflicting a blow on Real's bid for a first league title in five years would be some measure of sweet revenge for Atletico.

However, Real have yet to lose at home in La Liga this season.

That record will be put to the test over the next fortnight as Barcelona visit on April 23. In between, Real also face old foes Bayern Munich for a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

Zidane is expected to welcome back Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, who were rested for Wednesday's 4-2 win over Leganes.

By contrast, Atletico manager Diego Simeone is expected to keep to the same side that beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Tuesday with Fernando Torres partnering Griezmann up front.

Any slip-up from Real would allow Barcelona to go top if they beat hosts Malaga tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The Catalan side, who travel to Juventus for the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday morning (Singapore time), will be without the suspended Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic. - AFP

atletico madridREAL MADRIDla liga