Real Madrid already sit four places off La Liga leaders Sevilla and can fall further behind in the title race unless they get back to winning ways at home to Levante on Saturday, having failed to triumph in their last four outings.
Three of those have come in the league—the other was a 1-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to CSKA Moscow—and Levante don't look like pushovers in their current form, having won their last two.
The most recent of those was a 1-0 win at Getafe, and they'll hope to use that victory as inspiration to triumph away in Madrid once again in Week 9.
Los Granotas are 11th, six places below Los Blancos, but they can climb to within a point of their hosts with an against-the-odds win. They are priced as distant 25-1 outsiders to beat Real on their own soil for the first time since 2007.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Time: 12 p.m. BST/7 a.m. ET
TV: Eleven Sports,
Real Madrid: 1-20
All odds provided by OddsShark.
Real's drought in results of late has caused major concern, not least due to the fact Real have failed to score during this four-match winless run. It's almost as if they've forgotten how to play Julen Lopetegui's system.
All was well until late September when Los Merengues looked to have Lopetegui's tactics down pat in the midst of a six-match unbeaten run—including five wins—only for form to fall apart in the past three weeks.
Lopetegui has been buoyed by the news that injured duo Isco and Marcelo are back training and could feature in some capacity against Levante, per Manu de Juan of AS.
On top of that, a certain Welsh winger with three goals in La Liga this season, second only to Karim Benzema, is also reported to be in contention to return from inuury, per the Press Association:
Levante's record at Real is indicative of why the odds look so slanted for this fixture, though all seems to be running in favour of Saturday's visitors in terms of their best chances to end that barren run in the capital.
Manager Paco Lopez has his outfit operating at a higher pace than has been seen for some campaigns, and La Liga writer Simon Harrison explained the mastery of his impact at the club in finer detail:
Whether or not his men are able to duke it out against Spain's giants is another question. Levante were smashed 6-2 at home by Sevilla in September and also dropped points against Valencia and Celta Vigo.
Real have their stars returning to fitness at the right time to prove the bookmakers right and continue their home run of results against Levante, but their guests aren't likely to go down easily.