Sunday's Madrid derby could go a long way to deciding the destination of the Liga title as Atletico aim to move level with leaders Real.
Atleti suffered a setback in their quest for a first top-flight crown since 1996 last weekend as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Osasuna.
Fellow title chasers Barcelona also succumbed to defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's men three points clear at the end of the weekend.
But, with 13 matches left to play, all three will still be harbouring hopes of laying claim to the trophy come May.
For Atleti, the first of those fixtures is a home clash with Real, and coach Diego Simeone will be desperate not to allow Ancelotti's side to pull six points clear.
The teams have met on three occasions already this season, with Real currently leading by two wins to one, but a series of unsavoury events in recent fixtures adds even more spice to this encounter.
Sergio Ramos spitting at Diego Costa, Cristiano Ronaldo being struck by a lighter, and Marcelo's allegations of racism against opposition fans are all incidents that have happened in fixtures between the sides over the past two seasons.
Victory for Simeone's charges would see them climb above Real, having also beaten their rivals 1-0 in the reverse fixture back in September.
Barcelona will bid to recover from their 3-1 defeat to Sociedad in a home tie against lowly Almeria.
The Camp Nou outfit can feel confident of a return to winning ways after putting 21 goals past their opponents in the last five meetings, conceding just one in reply.
At the other end of the table, Real Betis will bid to bring a three-match losing run to an end at Villarreal, while Rayo Vallecano host eighth-placed Valencia.
Real Valladolid are without a win in four, but could climb out of the relegation zone with victory over Malaga, who would themselves drop into the bottom three.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao host Granada to kick off the weekend programme on Friday, Espanyol travel to Getafe, and Celta Vigo are the visitors at Elche.
Osasuna and Sociedad will look to follow up their shock victories last time out with triumphs at Levante and Sevilla respectively.
|Coach: D. Simeone|
|Agent: Borini set to stay Liverpool|
|Koeman: No bids for Lovren|
|Livermore: England hopes shouldn´t hinge on club side|
|MLS Preview: Tough tests for Conference leaders, Revolution still struggling|
|Mathieu not Barca material, says Marquez|
|West Brom claim unimpressive win in Sacramento|
|Neymar: Brazil behind Germany, Spain|
|Vietnamese police confirm match-fixing players|
|Lucescu blames Joorabchian for AWOL players|
|Robinho undecided on future|
|Rush: Still years left in Gerrard|
|Tiago re-signs with Atletico|
|Puyol against Spain overhaul|
|Agger considering his Liverpool future|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Juan Aurich bounce back, Melgar draw with Inti Gas|
|Bayern deny interest in Cuadrado|
|New signings on show in Hull double-header|
|Hooiveld strike sinks Swindon|
|Costa departs Valencia|
|Morata suffers knee injury in training|
|K.League Preview: Seoul, Sangju aim to close gap to sixth, Ulsan host Jeonbuk|
|Lewandowski off the mark on Bayern bow|
|Gerrard retirement will boost Liverpool - Carragher|
|World Cup bidding report due in September|
|Evra bids emotional farewell to United fans|
|J.League Preview: Ventforet Kofu look to escape drop zone, Sagan Tosu battle Kawasaki Frontale|
|Salah spared military service|
|Garcia would welcome Torres return|
|Livermore understands Ince decision|
|Cole happy to get away from English press|
|Evra seals Juve switch|
|Bayern stay was Kroos´ ´priority´|
|Scuffet: Udinese right place to continue developing|
|Gerrard retires from England duty|
|Ambitious Pochettino targets title|
|Aspas eager to put ´bad season´ behind him|
|Atletico Mineiro v Lanus: Visitors out to recover from first-leg loss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Sligo, Inter Baku out to finish shocks|
|Hughes expects Bojan decision soon|
|Cech on the mend - Holland|
|Pardew eager to honour crash victims|
|Prandelli hits back at critics|
|Negredo breaks metatarsal|
|Rooney eager to impress Van Gaal|
|Palacios´ Qatar move falls through|
|Wenger rules out striker signing|
|Six Shakhtar players refuse to return|
|Six Vietnamese footballers arrested for match fixing|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Nacional Asuncion, San Lorenzo to host first legs|
|Mata hopeful of title|
|Napoli bullish about Scudetto chances|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Patriotas Boyaca, Deportes Tolima start with wins|
|Subotic thrilled to be back|
|Germain: Monaco can replace Rodriguez|
|Sullivan confident of Carroll improvement|
|Callejon staying put|
|DC United 3 Chivas USA 1: DC end Chivas´ winning run|
|Liga MX Review: Goalkeeping howler costs champions Leon, Monterrey move top|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: Huachipato, Santiago Wanderers opening-day winners|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Internacional rout Flamengo, Cruzeiro win again|
|Prosinecki keen on South Korea job|
|Woodward promises new United signings|
|Chelsea´s Omeruo set for Middlesbrough return|
|Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Review: Lesotho, Congo, Benin take first-leg leads|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Deportivo Cuenco shock leaders Emelec, Independiente held|
|Rodriguez spotted in Madrid|
|Niang and Mastalli earn Milan win|
|Jutkiewicz at the double in Burnley rout|
|Crouch denies Gladbach victory|
|Hertha lead Biermann tributes|
|Vidic makes Inter bow in narrow victory|
|Rodriguez eager to leave Atletico|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram fail to close gap on Muang Thong, Chonburi gain ground|
|CSL Review: Guangzhou R&F take advantage as rivals Evergrande are held|
|Juventus and Lazio hold Astori talks|
|Lewandowski and Contento back in training|
|Sunderland target Borini joins Liverpool squad for US tour|
|K.League Review: Jeonbuk hammer Sangmu, Steelers march on|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Buckley warns St Pat´s, Celtic primed to progress|
|Giaretta reveals Pereyra in demand|
|Kramer confirms Napoli talks|
|Nedved insists Juve key men going nowhere|
|Barton is a manager in the making - Redknapp|
|Monk unfazed from friendly setback|
|Holland: Lukaku not set to leave Chelsea|
|Debut nerves for Lambert|
|Woodward: Van Gaal will make United an attacking force|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC win again, Toronto held|
|Wenger: I´ll talk to Wilshere|
|Redknapp almost retired|
|Allardyce: Home form key for West Ham|
|Luis Enrique: ´We can´t draw conclusions yet´|
|Liverpool agree to sell Borini to Sunderland|
|Late Falque penalty spares Spurs blushes|
|Besler, Zusi agree Sporting KC contracts|