Thibaut Courtois says Atletico Madrid are going into Saturday night’s game at Real Madrid confident of a second consecutive ‘derbi’ win.
Atletico had famously gone 14 years and 25 games without a victory in the fixture but pulled off a huge shock by winning last May’s Copa del Rey final 2-1 at their illustrious neighbours’ own Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The on-loan Chelsea keeper told AS that in-form Atletico -- who sit two points ahead of Madrid in the Primera Division table after winning their opening five games -- knew they could repeat that feat again in this weekend’s La Liga clash.
“We have a great team and we know how to beat them,” Courtois said. “These are three more points, another final. As a player you never go out to draw, always to win.”
The Belgium international, who made a string of superb saves in May's final, said he was prepared for facing the double threat of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
“In the penalty area you are always afraid when they are going to shoot, but you learn in talks and with videos about players,” Courtois said. “With Belgium I already played against Bale, and some team-mates who play at Tottenham told me how he hit the ball. I have been in La Liga for three years, and I know how Cristiano hits his free-kicks.”
Colchoneros playmaker Koke told AS that Atletico could play with more freedom now the pressure of ending their long barren run against Real had been lifted.
“You always go out to win, and you always have pressure,” Koke said. “Maybe with this win we have taken some of that pressure off ourselves. We are having a great season and we must back ourselves to do it and give everything. We are going there to win.”