Real Madrid will try to get back on track in La Liga on Saturday, when they host an underperforming Malaga squad at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Malaga came into the season with European ambitions but got off to a nightmare start. They've found their stride in recent weeks, however, and have compiled a better record than Los Blancos in their last three outings.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming clash.
Date: Saturday, November 25
Time: 3:15 p.m. GMT/10:15 a.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
TV Info: BeIN Sports (U.S.)
Live Stream: BeIN Sports Connect
Los Blancos made the surprising decision not to rest most of their starters in midweek against APOEL, leading to a 6-0 win in Cyprus that could help the team build some much-needed momentum.
Sergio Ramos didn't feature after suffering a facial injury against Atletico Madrid last weekend, but the defender took to social media to provide an encouraging update on his recovery:
Sergio Ramos @SergioRamos
Nothing can stop me 💪🏃♂️ https://t.co/4Gwr0ppVdR2017-11-21 18:47:13
Per Javier Garcia of the club's official website, manager Zinedine Zidane also said Gareth Bale, Mateo Kovacic and Keylor Navas have resumed training. All three are doubts for Saturday's match and, given Malaga's lowly status, are unlikely to be risked.
Malaga didn't record their first win in La Liga until October 29, as the team started the season with a horrendous run of eight defeats and one draw. They've won two of their last three since, though—better than Real, who only earned four points in that span.
Los Blancos trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by 10 points already, but with the Blaugrana travelling to face in-form Valencia on Sunday, the champions are in a great position to narrow the gap.
The Catalans have had some narrow escapes in recent weeks and enter Sunday's clash with a serious handicap, per ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden:
Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden
Suarez's yellow card vs. Leganes revoked but Pique's upheld. Barça won't take it further & defender will miss Valencia game this weekend https://t.co/VKJqiLW2q72017-11-22 15:43:10
Malaga gave Barcelona a fierce battle just a few weeks ago but ended up losing 2-0. Los Boquerones are conceding goals at a high clip, averaging worse than two per match, and they've only scored nine this season.
On paper, Malaga should be no match for Los Blancos, who have scored far less than the top two clubs in La Liga but showed against APOEL they can find the net. Translating that form to the domestic league will be key, and Los Boquerones' defensive struggles could be just what Real need.
Momentum is key, and Los Blancos are facing a tricky stretch of fixtures. Between Saturday's clash and Christmas, they will host Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey and visit Athletic Bilbao in La Liga before entertaining Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, all ahead of the Clasico against Barcelona on December 23.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Malaga