by JACK PRENTICE
Atletico Madrid host bitter rivals Real Madrid in what is without doubt the biggest game of the La Liga season so far.
Real may travel to the Vicente Calderon with some trepidation after a poor recent record at their neighbours, who in recent years have risen from an annoyance to equals with Los Blancos.
Real haven’t won any of their last three league matches away at Atletico, have lost four in six to Los Rojiblancos and Diego Simeone has lost just once in the past three years in regulation time in all competitions.
Atletico had a shaky run before the international break as they lost two straight away games at Sevilla and at Real Sociedad and a win would move them three points closer to their city rivals.
Real Madrid went into the international break top and unbeaten this season after beating Leganes 3-0 in another Madrid derby.
However, Zinedine Zidane has several injury concerns with Alvaro Morata certain to miss the game with a hamstring injury, while Pepe, Carlos Casemiro and Karim Benzema are all doubtful.
Simeone on the other hand has only one big injury concern, although it is top scorer Antoine Griezmann who is doubtful with a foot injury sustained on international duty with France.
Barcelona host Malaga on Saturday looking to put pressure on their El Clasico rivals at the top of La Liga.
Barca are two points behind Real Madrid and know that a victory against the Andalusians would put them top of the table, even if it could be temporary.
They will check on the fitness of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar as the attacking trio arrived back from international duty in South America later in the week but they are expected to all be fit.
Elsewhere, Sevilla will be looking to avenge the disappointment of losing their unbeaten home record to Barcelona with a win away at struggling Deportivo La Coruna, and surprise top three contenders Villarreal face a difficult trip to Atheltic Bilbao.
Real Betis v Las Palmas
Eibar v Celta Vigo
Alaves v Espanyol
Sporting Gijon v Real Sociedad
Valencia v Granada
Leganes v Osasuna