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Real set for second straight Madrid derby

Real Madrid's stretch of matches in its home city continues on Saturday as the club heads to the Riazor to face Deportivo.

The Galacticos have enjoyed three straight home matches across all competitions, beginning the spell with a 4-1 La Liga win over Sevilla. They followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in Champions League play before topping Rayo Vallecano, 2-0, at the Bernabeu last weekend.

Real now moves away from its home stadium but will not have to travel very far as it will remain in Madrid to take on a struggling Deportivo side.

Deportivo comes into the weekend having lost its last five league games to remain in last place in the league table.

It has been a dreadful year back in top-flight football for the promoted side, which has seen two coaching changes this season. Fernando Vazquez currently presides over the first team after signing on as coach last week.

It is with that in mind that Real expects a tough encounter at the Riazor on Saturday as the Deportivo players will be out to prove a point to their new boss.

"It will be difficult," said Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. "They are going to give it their all. Their players want to keep their places in the team with their new manager and get out of the difficult situation that they find themselves in. And they have the players to do it."

The massive gulf in talent between the two clubs is undeniable. Jose Mourinho was able to hand a first-ever league start to Morata in the defeat of Rayo last time out, and he made an impact within the first three minutes as he scored what turned out to be the game-winner. His match was cut short when he was subbed off after 27 minutes in favor of Raul Abiol as Madrid looked to compensate for the sending off of Sergio Ramos, but the 20-year-old striker was not left sour.

"The other day I got the chance to play in La Liga, I felt comfortable and tomorrow I hope to get the chance to play even if it's just for a few minutes," Morata continued. "When I saw the sending-off I knew it would be my turn because that is what normally happens. We needed to take off the center- forward to bring on a defender. Whenever I come on to the pitch I am going to give 100 per cent. The boss knows that, the whole coaching team knows it."

Real Madrid could see Saturday's contest as an opportunity to rest some key players with an eye on the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal against Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Catalans could rest some of their regulars for their La Liga contest against Sevilla on Saturday. Barcelona is coming off of a disappointing loss to AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, and the league-leaders may wish to give some of their stars a bit more rest before Tuesday's Clasico.

Also on Saturday, Valencia heads to La Romareda to take on Real Zaragoza and Mallorca welcomes Getafe to the Iberostar Stadium.

On Sunday, Rayo Vallecano hopes to bounce back from its last to Real Madrid when it hosts Valladolid at the Teresa Rivero, Espanyol goes for its fourth straight league win when it heads to the Vicente Calderon to take on Atletico Madrid, Celta Vigo hopes to avoid a fourth successive defeat when it hosts Granada at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos and Real Betis faces Malaga at the Benito Villamarin.

On Monday, Levante squares off with Osasuna at the Ciutat de Valencia, and in Friday's lone match, Real Sociedad stormed back from a goal down to take a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

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