Real Madrid can temporarily reclaim La Liga's outright lead on Saturday when they play host to Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu, where they'll hope to move three points clear before Barcelona's visit to Espanyol later that evening.
The two teams sit level on points at the summit, and while the Blaugrana hold an advantage in their head-to-head record this season, manager Zinedine Zidane's side still have a game in hand.
Los Blancos warmed up for Saturday's home clash in the right way, too, after they hammered Deportivo La Coruna 6-2 on Wednesday in response to the 3-2 defeat in El Clasico three days prior.
That return to form should continue at Valencia's expense in Week 35, as Los Che have failed to win in their last three La Liga fixtures. However, Saturday's visitors are hoping to pull off a 2016-17 double against Real, having already beaten Los Blancos 2-1 in February.
Read on for a preview of Real and Valencia's collision at the Bernabeu, complete with up-to-date team news and viewing information to make sure you don't miss the drama.
Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 3:15 p.m. BST/10:15 a.m. ET
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
TV Info: Sky Go app (UK), beIN Sports 3 (U.S.)
|Real Madrid vs. Valencia Form Guide|
|Deportivo La Coruna 2-6 Real Madrid||Valencia 2-3 Real Sociedad|
|Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona||Malaga 2-0 Valencia|
|Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich AET||Valencia 0-0 Sevilla|
|Sporting Gijon 2-3 Real Madrid||Granada 1-3 Valencia|
|Bayern Munich 1-2 Real Madrid||Valencia 3-2 Celta Vigo|
Real will have captain Sergio Ramos back in their ranks in time for Saturday's game after he served a one-match ban against Deportivo following his red card in Sunday's El Clasico, but there are other concerns for Zidane.
The chief worries rest around Gareth Bale and Pepe, who were both noted as injury absentees for Wednesday's win over Depor, per Real Madrid TV presenter Phil Kitromilides:
Phil Kitromilides @PhilKitro
RM squad for Depor tonight. No Pepe, Bale, Ramos, Kroos or Ronaldo. Varane returns. https://t.co/NrTQURuEkI2017-4-26 08:14:26
As for Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos, the pair will be back on Saturday—Real will hope—after being rested for the midweek encounter, while Raphael Varane's return at centre-back is a timely one for the hosts.
Valencia, on the other hand, have received some positive fitness news after posting footage last week of star left-back Jose Gaya stepping up his attempts to return from a muscular problem:
Valencia CF English @valenciacf_en
🎥@jose_gaya is back in training with the group as they continue #MálagaValencia preparations for Saturday👉https://t.co/JTUPEO6aDV https://t.co/nW9mtoOgOh2017-4-20 12:39:04
Gaya hasn't featured for his club since their 3-0 victory over Depor on April 3, and his presence could be needed considering central defender Aymen Abdennour has also been absent for a fortnight due to a leg injury.
Meanwhile, striker Simone Zaza will be suspended for the fixture after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season during Wednesday's 3-2 home defeat to Real Sociedad.
As far as prestige is concerned in the history of this matchup, Real Madrid's meeting with Valencia won't boast its usual sheen, largely due to Los Che's slump down La Liga's rankings in recent times.
It also helps Real's case that they can call on fringe stars like Alvaro Morata, Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez to deliver in times like these.
All three netted against Depor on Wednesday, and the Colombia international previewed their end to the league season as "five cup finals," per Real's official website:
We have five cup final games in LaLiga, which we have to go into with hunger, and we also have to think about the Champions League. Regardless of who plays, the team always play well.
Thankfully for Zidane, he'll have the option to call upon some of his more established stars for the meeting with Valencia, who are once again in questionable form after enjoying a resurgence at the start of 2017.
The omens don't look good for Los Che heading to the Bernabeu, either, considering it took Morata less than a minute to open the scoring against Depor in midweek.
The Guardian's Sid Lowe noted Valencia weren't as quick off the mark against Sociedad:
Sid Lowe @sidlowe
La Real score...32 seconds in against Valencia2017-4-26 18:32:06
With so much at stake for Real and their motivation clearly high, Valencia could be at risk of being run out of Madrid with their tails between their legs in Week 35.
Manager Voro was regarded as an astute centre-back during his playing days at Valencia, but after seeing his side keep only two clean sheets in their last nine, Los Che could struggle to restrain their hosts this Saturday.