La Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran Torres has warned his side not to let their focus stray from this weekend's clash with Malaga as they look to take another step closer to the Primera Division title.

If results go their way, Atletico could be crowned Spanish champions for the first time since 1996 this weekend, but the more realistic scenario is that they will face a winner-takes-all showdown with Barcelona on the final day.

That match comes a week before Atletico attempt to lift their first Champions League crown when they meet arch-rivals Real Madrid in Lisbon, and it would be understandable if Rojiblancos supporters have already switched their attention to those bigger challenges to come rather than Sunday's visit of mid-table Malaga.

However, Juanfran insists the players cannot think like that, saying: "If we win our last two games we will be champions, but first comes Malaga.

"It would be an error to think beyond Malaga, who will come here to win."

Atletico go into the penultimate round of matches boasting a three-point lead over Barca following a dramatic week in the title race which saw all of the top three teams unexpectedly drop points.

Perhaps the most significant results involved third-placed Real Madrid, whose two draws with Valencia and Real Valladolid over the last six days has left Carlo Ancelotti's treble-chasers four points behind Atletico and needing little short of miracle to claim the title.

Atletico midfielder Koke is taking nothing for granted though, saying at a promotional act: "Real Madrid still haven't lost the league and we aren't discarding them while they have a mathematical chance. We need to look at all three teams."

Barca go to relegation-battling Elche on Sunday, while Real travel to a Celta Vigo side who are safe after winning their last three games.

Like the fight for the title, the battle to avoid the drop is also set to go to the wire with four points separating the six teams immediately above rock-bottom Real Betis.

Betis are already down but they could still play a big part in who joins them as their final two games pit them against Real Valladolid and Osasuna - the two other sides currently in the drop zone.

Osasuna go to Espanyol this weekend, while two of the other teams in trouble at the foot, Granada and Almeria, meet each other at Los Carmenes

Getafe, who are one place above the relegation spots after taking five points from their last three games, face a tough match at home to Sevilla.

There are local bragging rights up for grabs in two of this weekend's other fixtures, with Levante taking on Valencia on Saturday before Real Sociedad go to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Athletic are already guaranteed to finish fourth while Sociedad have secured a place in the Europa League, but that does not mean the derby will take on any less significance.

Sociedad midfielder Ruben Pardo said: "We want to give our fans a good end to the season. It would be the icing on the cake to win this derby."

This weekend's other match sees Rayo Vallecano travel to Villarreal, who this week escaped a stadium ban for the banana-throwing incident involving Barca defender Dani Alves, being fined around 10,000 instead.