By 90Min
September 27, 2019

It's Simeone vs Zidane at Wanda Metropolitano this weekend, as the two titans of Madrid go one on one to steal an early march in the battle for La Liga supremacy. 

There isn't much to choose between the sides, as the once gaping chasm between the two has been narrowed to a near-imperceptible crack - while some of a Rojiblanco persuasion may even argue that proceedings over the last 12 months have swung the tide their way. 

Man for man, at least, it is difficult to say which side is stronger, and that makes choosing this XI a waking nightmare.

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We're nothing if not triers at 90min however, and we've had an honest crack at picking the best XI from the players available to both managers ahead of this one. Please don't shout. 


Goalkeeper and Defenders

Jan Oblak (GK) - The man many consider to be the best goalkeeper in the world has already kept as many clean sheets as he has conceded goals in the league this season. Real are blessed with two talented keepers in Thibaut Courtois and Alphonse Areola, but neither can hold a candle to the Slovenian on current form. 


Kieran Trippier (RB) - The England defender looked a questionable signing for Atletico when he signed in the summer but he's so far shown exactly why Diego Simeone put his faith in him. He was rested for the win over Mallorca on Wednesday but has played every other minute this season and can already be considered a key player for Atleti.

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Sergio Ramos (CB) - It says a lot about the enduring influence of Ramos that even despite one of the worst years of his Real Madrid career, he remains thought of as one of the best defenders on the planet. He'll be bringing his signature blood and thunder to this one. 

José Giménez (CB) - He might have been abandoned by the Atleti old guard in the summer, but Gimenez has stuck it out and remained a fixture of Simeone's back four with his dominant displays. 

Renan Lodi (LB) - Touted as the new Marcelo, the 21-year-old signed set Atletico back close to £20m in the summer, but his displays so far have eclipsed those of his international contemporary as he has made the left-back slot his own. 


Midfielders

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Gareth Bale (RW) - Barring the victory over Osasuna during the week, the Welsh enigma has started whenever he has been available to Zinedine Zidane, suggesting he is prepared to put a nonsensically dramatic summer behind him and get on with doing what he does best - playing golf. Sorry, football. A big performance in this one could go some way towards redeeming him in the eyes of the Madrid faithful, whose trust he has lost. 

Saúl Ñíguez (CM) - The fact that he's played every minute so far this season is no coincidence; it displays just how key he is to Simeone's setup. Whether he's on the right or in the engine room, his industry puts him up there with any midfielder on the planet at present. 

Casemiro (CM) - The thread that holds the Real Madrid side together, virtually any other player could come or go from the side, but the Brazilian's unique skill-set is so perfectly suited to the holding midfield role that he is an immovable presence. 

Eden Hazard (LW) - The Belgian hasn't quite had the start to life many expected but his quality is such that it seems like just a matter of time before he hits the ground running and shows why he is one of the very best in the world. 


Forwards 

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João Félix (CF) - It's almost unimaginable that the former Benfica star is yet to reach his 20th birthday, such is the subtlety and maturity with which he plays. He's taken to life in the Spanish capital like a duck to water, having started every game so far, and though his goal return hasn't quite blown our socks off just yet - he's netted two in seven - he has shown he is more than capable of mixing it with the very best even despite his youth.

Karim Benzema (CF) - Nobody told the Frenchman to make way for the next generation of Galacticos it seems, as the 31-year-old has netted in all but one of his six league appearances so far this season. He was the match-winner when it counted against Sevilla and having been rested during the week with this one in mind, he will be raring to keep the momentum going with another goal or two in this one. 

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