With the Madrid derby looming Real coach Zinedine Zidane admitted Friday that La Liga leaders Atletico were likely to win the title.
Atletico last won the Spanish title in 2014 and came third last season as Real won it with Barcelona second.
"They are favourites and they demonstrate that every time they take the pitch," Zidane said on the eve of his match with Diego Simeone's side.
"They have always been highly competitive, and right now they are top of the pile."
Zidane's side trail Atletico by six points despite having played one more than their poor-cousin city-rivals.
"We know them very well. This is an opportunity for us to show what we are capable of," he said.
"The press are billing it as a final but here every match is a final."
Both sides went through to the Champions League knock-out phase in midweek.
The city derby will take place without a fervent crowd, and despite Atletico's 10-game unbeaten run in La Liga, the bookies make Real favourites to win on Saturday.