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



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

Atletico Madrid among clubs weighing up a summer move for €20 million Barcelona defender



Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Having successfully raided FC Barcelona for the signing of Memphis Depay during the January transfer window, Atletico Madrid could look to bring in another player from Spotify Camp Nou come summer.

Indeed, according to SPORT, Atletico are among clubs who are interested in signing Barcelona ace Sergino Dest, who is currently away on loan at AC Milan.

Dest has been out of favour at Barça since Xavi Hernandez arrived at the club back in November 2021. The USMNT right-back was sent out on loan to Milan last summer so that he can play regularly.

The Rossoneri have the option of signing the ex-Ajax man permanently for €20 million, but are unlikely to take it up as the right-back has largely underwhelmed during his time in Italy, playing just 14 games in all competitions.

But, that has seemingly not deterred clubs in La Liga, including Atletico Madrid, who are reportedly willing to take a punt on Dest in the summer.

As things stand, Atletico have Nahuel Molina as their primary right-back, but the Argentine has not been consistent enough in his debut season at the club.

Matt Doherty arrived on a free transfer from Tottenham in January but has only played 12 minutes so far, indicating where he stands in Diego Simeone’s scheme. So, a new right-back might not entirely be ruled out at the Civitas Metropolitano come summer.

Dest, though, is also attracting interest from Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal, while an unnamed MLS club also want the right-back.

Barcelona, for their part, wish to recoup the €20 million they spent on him almost three years ago, which could become a roadblock for Atletico Madrid if they do indeed pursue the right-back with greater intent.

As things stand, there is just initial interest and there is nothing concrete from Atletico or any clubs. Only time will tell if that changes once Dest returns from his loan spell.

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