Victory for Los Rojiblancos, coupled with Barcelona dropping points at Elche, would be enough for the Champions League finalists to win the Primera Division this season
If Los Rojiblancos bounce back from their defeat to Levante and Barcelona fail to beat Elche, Diego Simeone's men would have brought a conclusion to one of the most enthralling title races that Spain has seen for many years.
A Filipe Luis own goal coupled with David Barral's late effort condemned Atleti to a first league defeat in 11 matches but the capital club were spared slightly by the fact that Barca and Real Madrid both dropped points. Regardless, Simeone will be hopeful of a better showing against Malaga in their final game of the season at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Malaga, five points clear of the drop, have work to do to make certain their safety and the hosts will hope to do their bit while praying for Blaugrana defeat - ahead of their potentially decisive trip to Camp Nou on the final day.
However, defender Juanfran has warned against taking Malaga lightly and says that the squad are not thinking of the Barcelona match or its likely importance.
"If we win both of the remaining fixtures we'll be champions and the first one is against Malaga," he told the press, "but it would be an error to think beyond Malaga.
"The team is doing perfectly. If you work, work, work, you'll be rewarded and we've worked as hard as anyone."
Atleti won the reverse fixture 1-0 in January and have lost just one of their last seven meetings with Malaga.
Sunday's hosts will be confident of extending that strong run, with Bernd Schuster's charges having won just one of their last four while failing to score in their last two outings.
Malaga's hopes may be boosted by the potential absence of Diego Costa (thigh) but goalkeeper Willy Caballero has urged his team-mates to simply focus on ending the season well. The former Elche stopper has "no interest" in the title race and instead wants to secure the win that would keep them safe.
"With regards to my opinion on the league, my only concern is fighting for my club and to ensure our place in the elite next season," he remarked. "Nothing else interests me right now. We need to remain cautious and fight and defend well.
"I have no interest in who wins the league this year."