3 Real Madrid players who could decide the match against Atletico Madrid

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Real Madrid, David Alaba

Real Madrid, David Alaba (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid will face Atletico Madrid on Sunday night in their next La Liga match, and this one could help decide the title race. In each of the pas two weekends, Los Blancos faced two other title contenders. They squeaked by Sevilla after a wondergoal from Vinicius Junior and then delivered a convincing victory over Real Sociedad at the Anoeta. In between, Thibaut Courtois led them to a clean sheet victory over Athletic Club, and the team most recently defeated Inter Milan 2-0 to conclude a group-winning Champions League performance.

It will get tougher on Sunday in El Derbi. Not only did Atletico Madrid win the title over Real Madrid last season, but they are also rebounding after a slow start to the season. The prodigal son, Antoine Griezmann, is firing on all cylinders again, and he scored the opener in a knockout-round-clinching win over FC Porto at mid-week that was quintessential Atleti.

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Let’s take a look at three players on Real Madrid who could decide the outcome of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.

CB David Alaba

We already saw David Alaba decide a vital rivalry clash earlier this season, as the center back scored a smashing opener at the Camp Nou against Barcelona. Alaba has been very consistent defensively, more than earning the No. 4 shirt as Sergio Ramos’ effective replacement. Like Ramos, Alaba is a leader, a great reader of the game, and a huge asset to the attack with his runs forward and composed passing. Against Antoine Griezmann who likes to cut in from the right side and is so, so good at finding space and combinations, Alaba must be at his very best. Doubly so if Luis Suarez is able to play.

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These are the kinds of matches for leaders like Alaba. A serial winner at Bayern both domestically and continentally, Alaba knows a thing or two about showing up in title-deciding battles with a rival. Just ask Borussia Dortmund.

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