Atletico out to spring Bernabeu surprise

MADRID - Atletico Madrid go in search of their first win over Real Madrid for more than 10 years when they visit the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri was the last Atletico coach to savour victory over Real when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored twice in a 3-1 away triumph in October 1999.

Ten seasons on and Quique Sanchez Flores is the latest coach to try and emulate Ranieri's feat in a Madrid derby.

Atletico are probably the most unpredictable side in La Liga at present.

They are the only team to have beaten champions Barcelona in the league this season, have made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and the final of the King's Cup.

Atletico boast a forward line led by Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero yet they languish in mid-table with a thin squad that is struggling to cope with the strain of competing on three fronts.

They host Athletic Bilbao on Thursday evening while Real travel to Getafe so both teams will have minimal preparation.

"At the moment I only have 13 players I can use regularly and who have been consistent," said Sanchez Flores.

Atletico are aiming to get back into the European qualification places while Real are focused firmly on the only trophy left available to them, the league title.

Barca's 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Wednesday put them three points clear of Real at the top.


John Toshack was the last Real coach to lose a Madrid derby and defeat for under-pressure Manuel Pellegrini would be another blow to his chances of continuing next season.

Real, though, have a 100 percent home record this season.

Barcelona have a tough trip to Real Mallorca's island fortress at the Ono Estadi on Saturday.

Gregorio Manzano's side have won 12 out of 13 games there and are fourth in the table.

Barca have won three on the trot but have laboured to break down opponents recently, over-reliant on a spectacular run of goals from Lionel Messi.

Third-placed Valencia visit struggling Real Zaragoza on Saturday without leading scorer David Villa.

The Spain striker needs three to four days rest after spending Wednesday night in hospital with a head injury suffered in their victory over Malaga.

NEWS: Dizzy David Villa told to rest

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