David Moyes takes his Real Sociedad side to the Santiago Bernabeu for one of the biggest matches of their season this weekend.
Prior to the Scotsman's arrival, La Real surely achieved the result of the season when, after being 2-0 down to Los Blancos, came back to triumph by 4-2. That result remains their only win against Madrid in the last 10 years so Sociedad certainly have their work cut out.
Both teams are in need of the points for differing reasons. Real Madrid can consolidate their four-point lead at the top of the table, whilst a win for the visitors will see them start to pull away from the relegation zone.
Let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome to this one...
When the best teams are minus their best players, then there is always a chance for the opposition. Real aren't a one-man team of course, but the absence of Ronaldo will hurt them.
No one in the side has scored goals at quite the rate of Los Blancos' main man, and the switch-around in personnel and perhaps tactically could benefit the visitors.Even if Jese Rodriguez or Javier Hernandez were to deputise, neither are in quite the same league as the Portuguese.
Don't underestimate Moyes
It would be easy to cast aspersions on David Moyes, given his time at Manchester United particularly. But there is a steely grit and determination about the Scotsman.
We saw the same against Barcelona, when Sociedad were full value for their 1-0 win on the night. His game plan will surely revolve around disrupting Real's free-flowing movement, and knocking the hosts out of their stride. Don't bet against Moyes springing the surprise of the season.
Xabi Prieto's influence
Up against Toni Kroos et al, it's unlikely that Xabi Prieto will have a stiffer test this season. However, the Santiago Bernabeu is a ground at which Sociedad's masterful midfielder enjoys playing at.
Who can forget his hat-trick in 2013 only to finish up on the losing side? Indeed, on three of his last four visits, Prieto has found the net.
Curtail his forays and Madrid will go a long way to winning this game.