Football: Cristiano Ronaldo & Antoine Griezmann - the misfiring main men in Madrid

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid key men Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Antoine Griezmann (left) have been firing blanks so far this season in the Spanish La Liga.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid key men Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Antoine Griezmann (left) have been firing blanks so far this season in the Spanish La Liga.PHOTO: REUTERS

A football derby match usually has everything supporters from both sides can ask for. It is absolutely thrilling to immerse in the fierce and intense rivalry, and satisfying to enjoy the bragging rights after should your team clinch victory.

More often than not, the main strikers will step up in the big occasions, score the crucial goals and be the hero of the day for their clubs.

However, ahead of the Madrid derby on Saturday (Nov 18), both key men from Real and Atletico - Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann respectively - have been firing blanks so far this season in the Spanish LaLiga.

Ronaldo is currently 710th in the strike-rate ranking across Europe's top-five leagues. According to Spanish daily AS, the Portuguese is also off to his worst start to a season in his professional career.

The 32-year-old has scored just one goal out of 48 shots in the Spanish league this campaign, leaving him with a strike rate of just 2.08 per cent, according to Opta Sports.

In contrast, the player with the best strike rate this season thus far is Monaco's Radamel Falcao, who has scored 13 times from 26 shots (50 per cent).

It is intriguing to note that Ronaldo's single league goal this season is less than the number of awards and children he has had in the last two months - he won his fifth World Player of the Year accolade in October and welcomed his fourth child in November.

However, the Real talisman has scored eight goals across all competitions, with six coming in the Champions League. It is just not happening for him in the LaLiga, yet.

On the other side of Spain's capital city, Griezmann has also performed well enough for his nation France, having played five matches since the summer and netting twice.

The 26-year-old, who in recent days has been linked to a 2018 summer move to either Barcelona or Manchester United, has scored the same number of goals for Atletico in 13 games.

For France, his strike rate is 43 per cent, while for his club that figure drops to 20 per cent, moving him out of Europe's top 10 - behind the likes of lesser-known players like Napoli's Dries Mertens (20.83 per cent).

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata triumphed over United's Romelu Lukaku earlier on Nov 5 when they similarly needed to prove the critics wrong following their respective goal droughts. The Blues defeated the Red Devils 1-0 thanks to Morata's goal.

It remains to be seen if Ronaldo or Griezmann can gain the upper hand on Saturday, or remain missing in Madrid.