Real Madrid open their 2017-18 season in La Liga with a trip to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, giving Pepe Mel's side the unenviable responsibility of facing the defending champions in their curtain-raiser.
Los Merengues come into the fixture on the back of a 5-1 aggregate hammering of Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, the latest testament to the evergreen quality of the UEFA Champions League holders.
However, the first of their Super Cup wins over Barca was a double-edged sword for Real after Cristiano Ronaldo's one-game suspension for two yellow cards turned into a five-match ban for pushing the referee, per BBC Sport.
With the Portuguese absent from contention, Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane will be forced to shuffle his deck and will likely hand Marco Asensio a start for the second game in succession.
Read ahead for a preview of Sunday's Spanish top-flight fixture, as Mel's Depor attempt to slow the relentless roll of Europe's in-form powerhouse.
Date: Sunday, August 20
Time: 9:15 p.m. BST/4:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruna, Spain
TV Info: Sky Sports Football (UK), beIN Sports 3 (U.S.)
Injuries and suspensions are few and far between for both sides, although Ronaldo's absence is a blow that threatens to stunt Real.
This is only the beginning of the Portugal star's upcoming absences too, with Squawka News laying out the schedule of the fixtures he's set to miss out on, three of which are at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu:
Squawka News @SquawkaNews
Games Cristiano Ronaldo will miss as it stands: Barcelona (H) Deportivo (A) Valencia (H) Levante (H) Real Sociedad (A) https://t.co/Os02ocSH8n2017-8-14 13:41:31
Young centre-back Jesus Vallejo will also be absent for Sunday's visitors because of injury, although he may not have been pencilled in to feature anyway, with Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez ahead of him in the pecking order.
As for Deportivo, regional newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported that attacking midfielder Carles Gil, on loan from Aston Villa, requires surgery on a groin injury (h/t Annie Eaves of Sport Witness).
Another of their stars in the playmaking department, Emre Colak, will also be missing after picking up his fifth yellow card of the 2016-17 season on the closing day, meaning he will serve a one-match ban against Real.
While Real completed their late push to finish three points clear at La Liga's summit last term, Depor toiled at the other end of the table and were just five points off the relegation spots come season's close.
Zidane has proved he is more than simply a man in charge of a talented crop of players with his tactical acumen since taking charge in January 2016. Adding the Spanish Super Cup to the club's trophy cabinet on Wednesday boosted his silverware count even further:
B/R Football @brfootball
Zidane as Real Madrid player: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Zidane as Real Madrid manager: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 And he did it in a year and a half. https://t.co/tdECpcnoNA2017-8-16 23:12:28
And that sterling record has in no small part been down to Real's squad depth, something arguably no other team can match.
Such is their quality, from starters to starlets, that Deportivo defender Alejandro Arribas recently said Real don't lose much in terms of their threat even when Ronaldo is missing, per Spanish daily AS:
"When you have a squad as complete as the one which Zinedine Zidane has, then missing one player doesn't influence things too much.
"If Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't play, then Marco Asensio will play or Isco will play or whoever else they pick.
"They are the best in the world and such a complete team that one player isn't very influential."
Asensio, in particular, will be one for the hosts to keep an eye on if he is to start in Ronaldo's stead, having scored in both Super Cup legs to once again demonstrate his superstar potential.
Real put nine goals past Depor across their two league meetings last season and ran out 6-2 victors at the Riazor in April. It's possible another goalfest in Real's favour awaits on Sunday.