After one or two stutters of late Malaga could do with a convincing win over Rayo Vallecano to keep the chasing pack at bay.
The Andalusians have exceeded all expectations this season but last week's 0-0 draw with Espanyol allowed the likes of Real Madrid and Real Betis to close in and put third place at threat.
Manuel Pellegrini's men then made very hard work of beating tiny Cacereno in midweek.
“We played a good game on a very difficult pitch which was heavy and muddy,” insisted the Chilean after the 4-3 Copa del Rey success.
That same evening Rayo were losing 1-0 to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Paco Jemez's side are three points clear of the drop zone in 15th but will want to avoid their three match losing streak being extended.
Kick off: Saturday November 3, 3.00 (BST)