Atletico Madrid will be seeking revenge after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in La Liga when they face their city rivals tonight in the Copa del Rey. After losing out to El Clasico rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final just under two weeks ago, Real Madrid have since responded with back-to-back away victories over Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao. The Los Blancos made a comeback in their 3-2 victory against Villarreal on Sunday coming from two goals down. As much as closing the three points gap with league leaders Barcelona is top on the agenda of Carlo Ancelotti's side, they have their eyes firmly fixated on the Copa del Rey as they plan to win the competition for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
Just under two weeks after falling short against rivals for the El Clasico, Barcelona, in the Spanish Super Cup final, Real Madrid has since retaliated with back-to-back away wins over Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao. The Los Blancos have failed to advance to the Copa del Rey final for the past 8 years and have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the competition four times the latest knockout coming last season after suffering a defeat from Bilbao. Considering the fact that Real Madrid have played each of their last seven matches away from home across all competitions, they will be looking forward to Thursday's return to the Bernabeu, where they are unbeaten in 10 games this season despite only recording one clean sheet during this run.
After winning, drawing, and losing in their first three games of the year, Atletico Madrid have experienced an indifferent start to the New Year. However, they have since recovered by defeating Levante and Real Valladolid without an answer. They secured a 2-0 away victory over Levante in the last 16 knockout stages of the competition. They went ahead to claim 3 points in La Liga after securing a 3-0 win over Valladolid last weekend where Alvaro Morata, Antoine Griezman, and Mario Hermoso all found the back of the net. They are seated fourth on the La Liga table and are 13 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona which puts off their charge for the title meaning that they will have to grab the Copa del Rey if they wish to put their hands on silver wear this season.
Atletico have only beaten their city rivals twice in their last 13 competitive games and they will be looking to avoid the aforementioned defeat they suffered in the league four months earlier this season. Just like their tonight's opponents, Atletico have endured a long drought without winning the Copa del Rey last having a feel of the silver wear during the 2012-2013 campaign. They have further in the last nine years been eliminated in the quarter-final stage of the competition on three occasions. Last season they suffered a shocking exit after being eliminated in the second round by third-tire side Cornella. The Los Colchoneros have found favour playing away from home recently after winning four and drawing one in their last five fixtures on the road. They will be bidding to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals for the first time in three years and will hope to catch Real on an off day tonight.