La Liga Preview: Atletico, Real to meet in derby

Atletico Madrid centre-back Diego Godin will not be dwelling on past results when the champions host city rivals and La Liga leaders Real Madrid on Saturday.

Atletico are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions against Real after edging their Madrid rivals 4-2 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey round of 16 in January.

Diego Simeone's men have not lost to Real since the UEFA Champions League final in May.

The two teams will resume hostilities at Vicente Calderon on Saturday, with Atletico seven points adrift of the league leaders through 21 matches.

And Godin said he knows past results count for nothing, especially against Real, who are in unbeaten six matches following their 2-1 win at home to Sevilla on Wednesday.

"It's an important match against a direct rival because of what's at stake in the league," said Godin, who played a full 90 minutes as Atletico accounted for Eibar 3-1 last week.

"Playing at the Calderon, with our people, we aspire to win the match. We want to win, we always want to win and even more against Real Madrid.

"It's a different match, and just because we won the previous matches doesn't mean we'll win this one.

"We must plan it well, follow the path we're on and that's what's going to bring us closer to the result we want."

Real are set to be boosted by the return of star Cristiano Ronaldo, who sat out the past two league fixtures due to suspension.

Godin revealed his team-mates have been focusing on Real's counter-attacking strength in the lead up to the blockbuster fixture.

Real have scored 50 goals in their past 15 league games.

"They play with very fast people at the front, very fast and very precise," said the Uruguayan. "We'll try to be very careful, especially when we have possession of the ball because when they steal it, they are the most dangerous in the world."

Barcelona will be monitoring the showdown very closely, with La Liga's second-placed team scheduled to play on Sunday.

Barca are four points behind Real and three clear of Atletico ahead of their trip to Athletic Bilbao.

"I think we have the chance to do something big this season," Barca defender Gerard Pique told reporters.

"We just have to keep the same level, keep getting results and get through the semi-finals of the cup and in the league try to put pressure on [Real] Madrid, the leaders, so they drop points. We have to keep picking up three points."

High-flying duo Sevilla and Valencia are both on the road as they attempt to return to winning ways.

Beaten at The Santiago Bernabeu midweek, fourth-placed Sevilla make the trip to lowly Getafe on Sunday.

Valencia - fifth in the standings - are in action at Espanyol on the same day after losing 3-2 to Barcelona last week.

In other fixtures, Villarreal host third-bottom Granada, Malaga make the trip to cellar-dwelling Levante and Real Sociedad entertain Celta Vigo.

Cordoba - outside of the relegation zone on goal difference - go head-to-head with Almeria, while Deportivo La Coruna and Eibar kick off the round on Friday.