A derby can never be friendly, and when these particular sides collide, there is always something at stake.
If it’s not a title, as in this case, then honour is up for grabs.
On this occasion, it is the fight to be the top team in Madrid.
It’s no small thing considering that it is the only city on the planet that has seen its two teams fight in two Champions finals.
What will be resolved on Sunday at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will not be a fight for the Champions League, but a league match.
Both Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone have agreed to jealously guard their lineups even to their own players.
More proof that the match is not just another game; it’s a full on derby that will always be a match marked in the calendar on both sides of the city.
Both coaches know that only too well, and it’s the Frenchman with the first dilemma; closing a hole in central defence after the injuries Nacho and Vallejo.
The option to play Casemiro is gaining weight whilst up front, dynamite.
Bale, Asensio, Cristiano Ronaldo; a trio to get through even the most expert defence.
Simeone, meanwhile, must decide whether to go with four in the midfield, a regular feature in their big games.
He must choose two players between Thomas, Gabi and Correa, with Koke and Saul untouchable.
Whatever the case, honour is at stake.