Coming into the season, very few could have predicted that Real Madrid would have just one more point than newly-promoted Deportivo heading into the last week of September.
However, a very slow start for the champs and some hard-fought draws for the Galicians have made that scenario come true.
The two will square off this Sunday for the first time in two years. The result of the Barcelona-Sevilla match will already be known, so that will likely weigh on the minds of Los Merengues.
Real Madrid enter this match in deceptively average form. They have won their last two matches, but overall performance has still been disappointing.
They scored two goals in Vallecas, which were as much defensive mistakes as anything brilliant from the offense. Mezut Ozil still has not played a great league match.
While Real were the more dominant side in that one, some awful defending allowed the reigning English champs to use the counter-attack to make the game much closer than it should have been.
Deportivo head to the capital with less impressive results in recent weeks.
After staging an emotional comeback against Valencia in match-day two, Los Turcos have failed to impress despite playing a couple of very winnable games.
Depor drew against Getafe and Granada before losing 2-0 against Sevilla. They currently sit in 10th place and are targeting a shocking top-six finish.
A lot of people are seeing this team as the new Levante, but they have not earned such praise at this point in the season.
While the heart is certainly there, the attack has been anemic at times and Los Blanquiazules could really struggle to score in Madrid.
I expect Jose Mourinho to use this match to rotate players in preparation for Ajax and Barcelona in the next 10 days.
Fabio Coentrao will be back from suspension and Kaka could see his first league action of the season after a very impressive mid-week friendly versus Los Millonarios.
While Real Madrid have shown to be very beatable this season, even for weaker teams, the wise money is at least a two-goal victory for Ronaldo & Co.
Kickoff is at 5:50 PM UTC at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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