Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – Saturday 15:00 GMT
Due to Barcelona's substantial lead in La Liga, which stands at eight points over Atletico and nien over Real, this fixture now has taken on a whole new perspective. Barcelona the edge over Ateltico on the head-to-head results system, with two wins over them this season, meaning their lead is effectively nine points. Real Madrid have to beat Barcelona by five goals in the return fixture at the Nou Camp, otherwise they will have lost out too on the head-to-head rule. So, in essence, Barca are 10 ahead of Real Madrid and nine over Atletico.
Dispirited noises are emanating out of the Bernabeu and The Vicente Calderon in terms of having any realistic hope of catching Barcelona, although they have just stopped short of conceding that the title race is over.
This weekend there could be only one team left standing with any potential catch up plan or if it's a draw, both teams will have fallen on their swords.
I'm going for the latter.
We are seeing evidence in the Spanish press already that their honeymoon period with Zinedine Zidane has already reached its conclusion, despite being undefeated in his eight games so far. This is due to Real's failure to beat Betis and Malaga away from home under his stewardship.
When he took over from Rafa Benitez everything under him was associated with that tired old line of "breath of fresh air". Players said it, they always do, Florentino Perez said it, journalists said it and the supporters were also repeating it like a mantra.
Now, with Barca running away with the title and a couple of ropey results, the air is not so fresh.
It is incredibly dumb to have expected any drastic changes in such a short period of time and ultimately we should all wait for Zidane to put his stamp on the squad in the summer with new signings if allowed. With a possible transfer ban and the influence of Florentino Perez, will Zidane be in control of these issues come the transfer window?
Real Madrid need to build a team, allow Zidane to control who he signs and for him to identify exactly the positions that need strengthening in order to construct a side that plays in the style that he chooses. Perez needs to trust him implicitly and Perez totally trusting a manager has never happened since he has been President of the club.
I think it will happen now though, as Perez has lost all trust with the fans and Zidane is his last chance of getting it right.
Anyway, back to this game.
Benzema should be fit to return, likewise, Varane also returns from suspension. Benzema will certainly be a boost in terms of the attacking strength from last week when Isco was the player asked to take his place in a false nine position. There is still no Gareth Bale I'm afraid. Varane is much needed to deal with the pace threat of Antoine Griezman.
For Atletico, goalscoring has become a real issue, sorry, an even bigger issue I should say, as they have hardly been described as prolific all season! Back to back 0-0 draws against Villarreal and PSV in the Champions League emphasise that.
Griezman has now gone five without a goal and they are at the moment relying on Fernando Torres to deliver, he is trying his best but it's not proving to be inspirational for Simeone. Atletico will also be a little bit jaded after the midweek game against PSV so I expect them to dig in and use their allowance of underdogs (despite winning the last two La Liga games at Real Madrid) and fixture congestion to play negatively, without any shame, and do everything in their power to keep another clean sheet.
I expect them to do exactly that and pick up yet another 0-0.
Real Madrid 0-0 Atletico Madrid 9.50