Malaga got back to winning ways on the road for the first time since early September as they beat Sevilla 2-0 in an Andalusian derby last weekend.
With Jeremy Toulalan still sidelined, Manuel Iturra is expected to continue alongside Ignacio Camacho in midfield, with the only possible change from the Sanchez Pizjuan coming up front where Javier Saviola could replace Roque Santa Cruz.
Any slight chance of Real retaining their title seemed to slip away as a late Espanyol equaliser saw them slip 13 points behind Barcelona at the top of the table.
However, los Blancos should be boosted by the return of Karim Benzema who is expected to shake off the ankle knock that kept him out against Espanyol.
Angel Di Maria is also expected to come back into the starting 11 after making a big impact as a substitute last weekend.
Very much in contrast to last season, Real's form on the road has been extremely poor this season and there seems very little chance Jose Mourinho's men will cruise to a 4-0 victory at La Rosaleda like they did last October.
However, the champions tend to prefer playing teams that attack them and offer the counter-attack, and that is certainly Malaga's style at home under Manuel Pellegrini.
There should, therefore, be goals but with Benzema back, Madrid's more potent strikeforce could see them sneak all three points by the odd goal.
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