"¡No pasaran!", the cry on Madrid's barricades in the Spanish Civil War, could serve as a slogan for Real Madrid's defence at present were it not so politically inappropriate, Real being aligned, in the public mind, with the forces of General Franco rather than the left-wing Republic.
The Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas has not conceded for five matches but Sergio Aguero, Atletico's Argentine striker, is confident he can pierce the champions' defence in tomorrow's capital derby.
"He's a great goalkeeper but it isn't impossible to beat him," said Aguero, who is now living up to the hype which accompanied his arrival last season.
Real have Arjen Robben, Gabriel Heinze and Christoph Metzelder injured but Pepe is expected to return.
Barcelona, seven points behind in second, may have Lionel Messi back for tomorrow's match against Racing Santander at Nou Camp. Ronaldinho remains out with tendinitis.
The fight between Deportivo La Coruña goalkeepers Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Munua has attracted the attention of the law. The pair have been asked to give statements to the local prosecutor on Wednesday. Munua punched Aouate in the face during a dispute last week. The coach Miguel Angel Lotina dropped both players and told them to train alone. Fabricio, of the B-team, is now keeping goal for struggling Depor.
The much-travelled Maniche is expected to make his debut for Serie A leaders Internazionale against Parma tomorrow night. Since winning the Champions League with Jose Mourinho's Porto in 2004 the midfielder has played in Russia, England (with Chelsea) and Spain. Parma hope to field Cristiano Lucarelli, the latest player off-loaded by Shakhtar Donetsk in the wake of the Ukrainian club's European exit.