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Real, Atletico set for Madrid derby

Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - The Madrid derby will have a slightly different feel when Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

It is not often that Atletico finds itself looking down at Real in the La Liga table. At most, Los Rojiblancos will sit higher than Los Merengues for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the season before the usual separation takes place.

But with 13 matches already played so far this term, Atletico comes into the Bernabeu with an eight-point lead over Real to occupy second place behind Barcelona.

Atletico has dropped just four points all season, trailing unbeaten Barcelona by three points.

Real, meanwhile, has dropped 13 points through 13 games. By comparison, the club dropped 14 points all of last season en route to the league title.

While Atletico enjoys a superior position to its city rival, Diego Simone's men would be justified in feeling disrespected by the lack of notoriety that their impressive start has yielded.

Even after Real Madrid fell to Real Betis last weekend, it was Barcelona's 11- point lead over the reigning champions that became the most widespread story.

Atletico will be out to strengthen its title credentials, and Falcao will be at the center of that argument.

The Colombian has been a revelation over the past two seasons and he has been superb so far this term as well.

But so has Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. The pair sit tied for second in the La Liga scoring chart with 12 goals apiece, seven behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

If there are goals to be had at the Bernanbeu on Saturday, it's likely that Falcao and Ronaldo will score them.

Messi has the potential to extend his lead atop the scoring chart before the Madrid derby kicks off on Saturday, and Barcelona can open up a six-point lead over Atletico with a defeat of Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou.

Also on Saturday, Valencia welcomes Real Sociedad to the Mestalla and Malaga heads to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to take on Getafe.

On Sunday, Granada hosts Espanyol at Los Carmenes, Deportivo welcomes Real Betis to the Riazor, Levante and Celta Vigo meet at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos, and Real Zaragoza heads to the Iberostar Stadium to take on Mallorca.

On Monday, Sevilla and Valladolid, tied on 18 points apiece, meet at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and in Friday's lone contest, Osasuna picked up a 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

11/30 17:04:31 ET


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