Real Madrid continue to improve in La Liga, and Los Blancos play Athletic Bilbao on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Zinedine Zidane's collective more than matched champions Barcelona in Wednesday's goalless El Clasico at the Camp Nou. A title challenge appears to be on track for Madrid.
Real's next opponents have had an good campaign so far, with Athletic Club in seventh after achieving consistent results.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 22
Time: 9 p.m. local, 8 p.m. GMT, 3 p.m ET
TV: Premier Sports 2 (UK), BeIN Sports (USA)
Odds: Madrid: 33-10, Bilbao: 39-5, draw: 43-10 (via Caesars)
After a year of inconsistency and fluctuating results, the real Los Blancos are emerging from the shadows.
Zidane's position was under threat after a poor end to the previous campaign. Madrid lost 12 games across the season, finishing third and 19 points behind the champions.
The Frenchman only returned to the Bernabeu in March, so the whole campaign was not entirely his responsibility, but Real took time to find their best once Zidane grabbed the reins for a second time.
Los Blancos have lost just once this term, compared to Barca's three. This season they are not allowing the Catalans to run away with the championship.
Madrid are unbeaten in their last eight, but they will be challenged by a Bilbao team experiencing their own upturn in fortunes.
Last season, the Lions missed European qualification by one place on head-to-head results with Espanyol after the sides finished level on points.
Coach Gaizka Garitano's objective now will be to go one better and comfortably secure UEFA Europa League participation—or earn an elusive UEFA Champions League spot in the top-four.
The travelling side will have to contain Karim Benzema, who has been Madrid's main man this season, leading the attack in vintage form.
Benzema has scored 13 goals in 16 appearances against Bilbao during his career, and the 32-year-old has hit the back of the net 12 times in La Liga this term.
Despite their consistent Champions League successes, Madrid have won La Liga only six times since 2000, and as we approach 2020, president Florentino Perez will demand his team climb back to the top of the domestic tree ahead of Barca.