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Stat attack: Ancelotti and Simeone set for historic 20th clash, numbers favour Real Madrid

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Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone have a rich history against each other. The Argentine and Italian tacticians have faced off against each other on numerous occasions, each hoping to outsmart the other, and the numbers show the equality.

The Madrid derby later today will be the 20th meeting between the two managers. Of them, Ancelotti has got the better of Simeone on eight occasions while the Argentine has come out on top seven times. The other five games ended in draws.

All of the Argentine coach’s meetings with Ancelotti have been at Atletico Madrid, albeit in different competitions. The same is not true for his rival on the night, as the Italian faced Simeone twice with Bayern Munich in the 2016-17 season.

The records surrounding the managers do not end there. With Sunday’s derby, Ancelotti becomes the manager against whom Simeone has faced off the most in his career at 20 times. The reverse transaction again does not hold true, as the Real Madrid coach has faced Luciano Spalletti and Fabio Capello 24 and 22 times respectively.

When the two teams met earlier this season in La Liga, Los Blancos saw off their local rivals by a 2-1 scoreline. The two teams met again last month in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey, and it was again Real Madrid who came out on top in the game that ended 3-1.

Simeone thus has a point to prove on Saturday as he hopes to end the Merengues’ winning run against Atletico.

Real Madrid currently sit second on the league standings, eight points behind Barcelona while Atletico Madrid are fourth and find themselves ten points behind their neighbours. Needless to say, the result at Santiago Bernabeu could have massive implications for the title race in Spain.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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