Atlético Madrid could find themselves top of La Liga on Saturday afternoon, albeit temporarily, if they are able to overcome Málaga at the Vicente Calderón.
With Barcelona not in action until 20:30, Atleti can put the pressure on their Catalan rivals with a win. Kick-off in Madrid is set for 18:15 CEST.
Barcelona could be on the verge of a return to form following their 8-0 hammering of Deportivo on Wednesday, and so Atlético will know how important it is to take all three points on Saturday against the visitors from southern Spain.
Los Rojiblancos will have to do without Diego Godín, who was forced off during the opening ten minutes of Atlético’s match with Athletic on Wednesday. The Uruguayan is having an assessment on his injury today, and is a big doubt for the first leg against Bayern in the Champions League.
Atlético will have Fernando Torres up front, who has an automatic name of the teamsheet at this stage in the season after five goals in five games for Atlético.
El Niño has really rolled back the years with his performances in recent weeks, and Atleti fans will be hoping that he can fire them to the summit of the Spanish league.
Málaga sit in mid-table and are without a win in their last four matches, and have little to play for after slipping to 12 points behind the Europa League places.
Atleti on the other hand are playing their seventh game in just over 20 days, and so will have to keep their concentration. Simeone will stick with his ‘partido a partido’ approach, even with the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Bayern on Wednesday.
Simeone’s men battled to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Athletic at San Mamés on Wednesday, and will be hoping that Sporting Gijón can do them a favour and take some points from the Camp Nou on Saturday evening. (Just like they took all three points against Atlético last month.)
With only four games left in La Liga, it’s crunch time for Atlético’s title ambitions.
Atlético squad to face Málaga
Goalkeepers: Oblak, Moyá
Defenders: Filipe Luis, Savic, Gámez, Lucas, Giménez, Juanfran
Midfielders: Koke, Augusto, Gabi, Saúl, Carrasco, Thomas
Forwards: Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Correa, Vietto