Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Madrid will attempt to inch closer to top spot in La Liga when the club welcomes struggling Malaga to the Bernabeu on Saturday.
The Galacticos, who cruised to a 3-0 defeat of Eibar last weekend, gained two points on first-place Barcelona after the Catalans were held to a 2-2 draw Sevilla.
Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Jese provided the goals, which bodes well for Madrid's fortunes going forward.
For as much attention that Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema receive, Real Madrid has been at its best this season when Rodriguez was in the team. It wasn't until the Colombian attacker went down with an injury did Madrid suffer a dip in form, so his return to the fold is an encouraging sign for the club's late title push.
Malaga, however, has been disappointing in recent weeks.
A run of just two points from four matches has dropped the club out of the race for European football for next season, leaving the club in seventh place with 46 points, five points back of sixth-place Villarreal.
Malaga provided Real Madrid with a stiff test when the two sides met at La Rosaleda earlier in the season, but goals from Benzema and Bale granted Carlo Ancelotti's men a 2-1 victory.
While a victory for Real Madrid would lift the club to 76 points on the season, it will need Barcelona to drop points in order to get any close to top spot.
That is a plausible scenario given that the Catalans are playing host to a formidable Valencia side at Camp Nou earlier on Saturday, but given the sublime form from Luis Enrique's side in recent weeks, it's tough to imagine the fabled club dropping points in consecutive league outings.
Atletico Madrid also returns to action on Saturday as the club will look to respond from consecutive draws against Malaga and Real Madrid when a positive result at the Riazor against Deportivo.
Also on Saturday, Athletic Bilbao will aim to snap a three-match winless run when it plays host to Getafe.
Rayo Vallecano will look to put an end to a two-game slide when it welcomes Almeria to the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas on Sunday, while Sevilla will hope to build upon Thursday's Europa League victory with maximum points at lowly Granada.
Sunday's action concludes with Villarreal welcoming Cordoba to El Madrigal and Celta Vigo traveling to Eibar.
Monday's lone contest will see Real Sociedad head to the Martinez Valero to take on Elche while Friday's action saw Victor Casadesus strike two minutes from time to give Levante a point from a 2-2 draw with Espanyol.