Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos have already buried the hatchet after boss, Zinedine Zidane, admitted they had rowed.
Reports were rife in Spain that tensions between two of Madrid’s senior players had risen amid the team’s inconsistent run of results, which includes defeats at Liga minnows Girona and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.
Ronaldo had reportedly irked Ramos by complaining about the club letting too many old heads leave in the summer and playing too many youngsters.
After Madrid were spanked 3-1 by Spurs at Wembley on November 1, Ronaldo put their slump down to selling the likes of James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata, a view Ramos rejected, describing the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s words as “opportunistic”.
“Sergio is very clever, he can say what he wants and so can Cristiano, they’ve spent so long playing together and have won a lot of things together and it doesn’t mean anything if they disagree on something from time to time,” Zidane told a news conference on Friday.
“These things are sorted out internally and it is already fixed. There’s going to be no problem between Sergio and Cristiano. All I can say is I have two players who form part of the history of this club, they know what is at stake on Saturday and they respect each other a lot.”
Real and Atletico have 23 points in third and fourth place in the standings respectively, eight behind table-toppers Barcelona, and defeat in the derby, the first at Atletico’s new 68 000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano arena, could torpedo their title hopes.
Los Blancos are boosted by the return of right-back Dani Carvajal after a spell on the sidelines with a heart infection, though Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic are still out injured.