Real Madrid need to get back on track in La Liga when they host Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday. Los Blancos are 15 points behind leaders Barcelona after losing 1-0 to Espanyol on Tuesday.
Last season's champions have been inconsistent this term and may rue the decision to rest attacking talisman Cristiano Ronaldo for the trip to the RCDE Stadium. It also didn't help to leave No. 9 Karim Benzema on the bench.
Manager Zinedine Zidane likely has one eye on the UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. Real won the Champions League last season but still need to salvage some pride domestically.
It won't be easy against a capable Getafe side who sit 10th in the table. The visitors will enter this game off the back of a 3-0 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna last time out.
Here are the schedule and viewing details, before a preview and a look at the team news:
Date: Saturday, 3 March
Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT. 2:45 p.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports Football, beIN Sports
Zidane defended his selection policy following the disappointment at Espanyol, per Charles Perrin of the Daily Express: "There isn't a 'plan B.' It's a team with 25 players, and every match we have to choose a team. Today it hasn't gone well."
Ronaldo will likely be back on Saturday, even though the return game against PSG is looming. What Zidane needs is for somebody other than his usual source of goals to step up and deliver.
Midfield schemer Mateo Kovacic did his best to try to earn Los Merengues a result on Tuesday. Numbers from WhoScored.com show how lively the Croatia international was:
A repeat performance would be welcome, since both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are set to miss out, per Jim Sheridan of The Sun. The report also noted how "Getafe will be without experienced defensive midfielder Markel Bergara after he suffered a metatarsal injury back in January."
Not having an extra layer of protection in front of the defence should concern manager Jose Bordalas. He won't want to see Kovacic and Marco Asensio enjoy freedom in the pockets between midfield and defence.
If so, the supply lines will stay open and consistent to Ronaldo and company. With a full contingent up front, Los Merengues should have enough firepower to swat Getafe aside.
Yet Bordalas will hope his own attacking options, specifically strikers Jorge Molina and Angel Rodriguez, as well as Las Palmas loanee Loic Remy, can trouble a Real defence breached 28 times in 26 league games.
Three points are imperative for Zidane's men if they are going to close the 10-point gap on neighbours Atletico Madrid in second place. The title may be gone, but Real won't relish the prospect of finishing behind both of their fiercest rivals.