Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: 3 things that will decide the result

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One of La Liga's heavyweight battles takes place again this weekend.

Old foes Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid do battle at the Vicente Calderon in a game which could have a huge bearing on the destination of the La Liga title.

Diego Simeone's side has held a bit of an indian sign over their rivals recently and another victory for the Rojiblancos will really put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as the title race is concerned.

Let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this one...

Return of Cristiano

Just the two game ban then for Cristiano Ronaldo, for his actions in Real's narrow win vs. Cordoba.

Should it have been more? Quite possibly, but to have one of La Liga's showpiece games without its main protagonist was never going to happen.

Real's XI is strengthened immeasurably by Ronaldo's inclusion of course, and whilst he's struggled in recent match-ups between the sides, after a two-week break he'll come back fully refreshed and raring to go.

With so much at stake in this one-off game, we can expect to see the Portuguese at the absolute top of his game.

Arguably, aside from El Clasico in March, this is Real's toughest assignment. Come through this one unscathed and Los Blancos could be looking at a clear run to the title.

Head to Head

No doubting who has the advantage here.

Until the Copa Del Rey Final of 2013, Atleti had failed to beat their arch rivals home or away in this millenium.

Since that night however, the balance has very definitely swung the way of the mattress makers.

Indeed, in the last seven meetings, Real have only beaten Atleti once - in the Champions League Final.

Atleti have also scored twice against them in the last three meetings, including the two from last month which saw them progress in the Copa del Rey at the expense of Real.

Form of Atleti front line

Antoine Griezmann has begun to show the form of his Real Sociedad days, and looks dangerous whenever he is in possession.

Feeding off of the knock-downs from another in-form exponent, Mario Mandzukic, Griezmann's quality has been self evident.

Adept in bringing team mates into play or getting in behind the full back himself, Dani Carvajal in particular will need to be on his toes for the full 90 minutes.

Real won't need reminding that Fernando Torres finds himself in his best form for years. Three goals from three shots on target, and all against Real or Barcelona, need no explaining.

Mario Mandzukic too has been amongst the goals.

The "BBC" often keep the headline writers busy, but it could be the turn of "GMT" to write the stories in this one.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

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