Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti brushed off suggestions this week could prove decisive in the LaLiga title race as his side prepare to host city rivals Atletico.

Ancelotti’s men head into the contest 10 points clear of their opponents and locked in a tight battle at the top of the table with next week’s opponents Girona.

A win on Sunday would ensure they go into that contest in top spot, regardless of how the Catalan side get on against Real Sociedad.

Ancelotti refused to put any kind of conclusive weight on the next seven days but did acknowledge the significance of the two upcoming home clashes.

He told a press conference: “(The week is) not decisive, but important. It’s very important to pick up points at this moment, before the Champions League.

“These are very important games and we’re going into them in the best possible way. We have to take advantage of these two games at home to get points.

“Given the value of the opponent and the importance of the match, it’s good for us to be back at the Bernabeu. It has always helped us and it will do so tomorrow. They are intense matches with a lot of pressure.”

Sunday’s meeting will mark the third Madrid derby in less than a month after Ancelotti’s men beat their rivals 5-3 in their semi-final en route to winning the Spanish Super Cup before Atletico gained revenge with a 4-2 triumph in the last 16 of the Copa Del Rey, with both ties settled in extra-time.

Antonio Rudiger will be included in Ancelotti's squad but may not play

The Real boss is managing a number of injuries, with defenders Eder Militao and David Alaba and midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni all unavailable and Antonio Rudiger a doubt with a muscle strain.

On Rudiger, Ancelotti said: “He’s improved a lot in the last few days. I expect the same improvement between today and tomorrow. He will be in the squad and I will decide tomorrow if he plays or not.

“The height of the team without (Rudiger and Tchouameni) drops and we have to make the right decision regarding set-pieces.”

Nevertheless, Ancelotti remained upbeat about those who remain available for selection and was not concerned that his club did not sign another centre-back in January.

He added: “We thought, after Alaba’s injury, that Tchouameni could do well as an an emergency measure in the centre-back position. Tomorrow is an absolute emergency, but only for one game. Besides, Militao will be back before the end of the season. He’s starting to look very good.

“(Eduardo) Camavinga can also play as a centre-back. He brings the ball out very quickly, he is quick and strong in tackles.

“I also have the options of (Ferland) Mendy and (Dani) Carvajal. All three options give me confidence and I think they can do very well tomorrow. The centre-back job is the easiest in football because you have to use your head more than your energy.”

Atletico go into the game on a five-game winning run in all competitions, kick-started by the cup win over Real, but, like his opposite number, boss Diego Simeone was reluctant to put too much weight on the outcome of the game.

“With so many days left, it is not good to think this way,” he told a press conference.

“It is an important game, they are first in LaLiga, they are strong at home, they are supported by their fans. We will have to be very good.”