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Title race heats up between Madrid rivals in La Liga

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Atletico Madrid look primed for their first La Liga title push since 2014 as Diego Simeone leads them to the Spanish top-flight crown.

The Los Rojiblancos have strengthened their defensive prowess this season, conceding only 6 goals in 15 La Liga games, including 10 clean sheets. The backline consisting of Stefan Savic, Felipe Monteiro, and Jose Gimenez, along with Jan Oblak, has enabled Atletico’s attacking stars to flourish and allow Simeone’s team to win games by their trademark narrow margins.

The addition of Luiz Suarez proved to be a stunning acquisition for Diego Simeone’s men. The Uruguayan international has scored 9 goals in 12 matches. With João Félix and Ángel Correa as his partners, it has helped put Atletico in command in the title race.

However, as a counterbalance to Atletico’s brilliance at the back, rivals Real Madrid will be aiming to defend their La Liga title based on their attacking power. Zinedine Zidane’s side are the second-highest scorers in La Liga this season, with 30 goals in 17 games.

The Los Blancos have been heavily reliant on Karim Benzema in the first half of the season, with the former French international netting eight goals in 15 league games. Eden Hazard’s fitness issues and inconsistent performances from other forwards seem to be roadblocks for Real Madrid’s title hopes.

Zidane has also ruled out any major departures from the club before the winter transfer window closes, but he could look to bolster his squad with one or two new faces. Austrian international David Alaba has been linked with a move away from Bayern Munich this summer, and according to some reports, Real Madrid are leading the race to sign him.

Meanwhile, Simeone hopes to strengthen his attack as Atletico Madrid are “one step away” from signing Moussa Dembele on loan with a buy option from Olympique Lyonnais as Diego Costa’s replacement.

FC Barcelona look confident to secure a Champions League spot at the end of the campaign, but a 7-point gap with league leaders Atletico Madrid makes their title hopes slender.

The two age-old city rivals will go head-to-head to end the season as the kings of Spain, but Simeone and Zidane have wildly different ways of trying to make that happen.

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