After scoring 12 goals in his last eight games across all competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo next faces up to Malaga looking to extend what’s already been a customarily tremendous beginning to the campaign.
Although a loss to Osasuna before the international break doesn’t speak highly of the Anchovies, Malaga were entering a stronger patch of form prior to that result.
With that in mind, Bernd Schuster’s side will be hopeful of bouncing back at the Santiago Bernabeu, but it’s once again Ronaldo’s input that could well decide the fixture.
Against Malaga, there are several key figures who promise to disrupt the mercurial forward’s streak of form.
All statistics come courtesy of Squawka.
The player with whom Ronaldo is likely to come up against most frequently is Malaga’s resident right-back and club stalwart, Jesus Gamez.
So far this season, the 28-year-old defender has maintained his role as a strong component in the Malaga attack, creating an impressive eight scoring chances and featuring in every minute of the club’s 2013/14 La Liga campaign.
What’s more, Gamez’s duel success average of 69 percent is the highest of any outfielder in the Malaga squad to have made at least five appearances for the side this term.
Will Malaga be able to restrict Ronaldo's influence?
Having battled his way back from injury, Weligton is set to feature in Schuster’s line-up for his first appearance of the season this Saturday in what couldn’t be a much harder return for the 34-year-old.
Coming in for the impressive Marcos Angeleri, Malaga’s veteran centre-back will be a very welcome addition to the side that’s been fielded so far this season and one who’s more experienced in the art of taming Ronaldo.
That being said, Weligton has played against Real Madrid six times in his career, losing five and drawing one, making this weekend as good a time as ever to begin a winning trend.
One of the more defensively inclined of Malaga’s midfield members, Ignacio Camacho’s role is likely to be one largely centred on breaking up Los Merengues’ attack before releasing the ball to some of those more offensively dangerous stars.
The 23-year-old hasn’t been quite as impressive this campaign as he’s shown himself to be in recent seasons but will nonetheless be key in restraining the creative juices of Ronaldo along with former teammate-turned-Madridista, Isco.