Atletico Madrid better than Barcelona and Real Madrid - Terry Gibson

Zidane admits that Ronaldo will have a leading role to play on Saturday but insisted that every member of the squad will be important for Real Madrid to fight for both the La Liga and the Champions League titles.

Aleña has featured as a substitute in each of the last La Liga two games, making his debut in the first of those against Granada last weekend, while fellow teenager Carbonell is yet to make a league appearance following on from his senior debut in the Copa del Rey in November.

Yet, Morata and the Colombian worldwide are tipped to return to the bench against Atletico to make space for Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema up front as the Madrid derby is expected to be one of the toughest challenges that Los Blancos face in La Liga in their nine games remaining.

Real also have a Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich on the horizon, but Zidane is looking no further than what he is expecting to be a hard derby on Saturday.

"I always talk about the next game because that is what matters to me until my last game as a coach here". We know it is going to be hard, but I believe in my teammates. "His energy drives him on and that's a positive influence on everyone around him", Zidane said in his press conference ahead of the game.

The defender will have to hope the Atletico fans don't respond in a similar fashion to how supporters of the Catalan club reacted to losing their prized Portuguese winger to their national rivalries.

"I am focused on what remains of this season".

Simeone says Griezmann has shown that he is one of the world's best players on a consistent basis and now wants the 26-year-old to finish the campaign in style.

In several recent derbies, Atletico have enjoyed great success by taking advantage of the lack of defensive support given to Real full-backs Marcelo and Dani Carvajal and launching their attacks down the wings. There are three points to be played for and we'll wait and see what happens.

"If we don't take three points then it complicates things and if we don't win in Malaga we will have a lot of difficulty [in retaining LaLiga]". We're committed and we want to do a good job.

"I think that any player who faces any football match has to go into it wanting to win - that's just basic logic", he said. We're all very much looking forward to playing the derby.

  • Julie Sanders