Real Madrid will welcome Real Sociedad to the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday in just their second league game over the last three weeks, having spent the build-up to Christmas in Abu Dhabi for the FIFA Club World Cup.
Imanol Alguacil's side have fallen dangerously close to the relegation places in La Liga following four consecutive defeats, while Real Madrid are now seven points behind Barcelona at the top of the table following their draw with Villarreal of Thursday.
Here's 90min's preview for Sunday's match.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 6 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Santiago Bernabéu|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 1/Eleven Sports La Liga|
An injury setback for Mariano Díaz has ensured that the forward joins Marco Asensio and Marcos Llorente on the sidelines for a little while longer in Madrid, although that has allowed Cristo González a chance to impress Santiago Solari.
Real Sociedad come into this match at almost full strength in attack, but it's another story entirely at the back. Real Madrid loanee Theo Hernández remains their only fully fit full back, although he's unavailable for selection, while Raúl Navas is also missing from their central options this weekend.
|Real Madrid||Courtois, Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modrić, Bale, Benzema, Vinícius.|
|Real Sociedad||Moya, Elustondo, Llorente, Moreno, Muñoz , Merino, Illarramendi, Januzaj, Oyarzabal, Juanmi, Willian José.|
Head to Head Record
Some fans might remember when Real Sociedad secured four wins and a draw in succession against Real Madrid just after the turn of the century, but recent history hasn't been quite as kind on the San Sebastián outfit.
In 14 years, Real Madrid have dropped just nine points against Real Sociedad out of a possible 66, winning 18 of their 22 meetings.
Rolling the clock back even further is much kinder on Sociedad, but Los Blancos still dominate their 142 La Liga meetings, winning 57% of their matches dating way back to 1929.
Real Madrid don't really have any 'recent' La Liga form, but they have won their last three of their last four games since an embarrassing defeat against SD Eibar.
For Sociedad, meanwhile, haven't won a league game since November, with their only win since coming against Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey.
|Real Madrid||Real Sociedad|
|Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid (03/01/19)||Real Sociedad 0-1 Deportivo Alavés (21/12/18)|
|Real Madrid 4-1 Al Ain (22/12/18)||Getafe CF 1-0 Real Sociedad (15/12/18)|
|Kashima Antlets 1-3 Real Madrid (19/12/18)||Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Valladolid (09/12/18)|
|Real Madrid 1-0 Rayo Vallecano (15/12/18)||Real Sociedad 2-0 Celta Viga (05/12/18)|
|Real Madrid 0-3 CSKA Moscow (12/12/18)||Real Betis 1-0 Real Sociedad (02/12/18)|
Real Madrid might be coming into this came without much game time under their belts over the Christmas period, but they will be playing at the Santiago Bernabéu for the first time since winning the FIFA Club World Cup.
Equally, Real Sociedad are coming into their match against the reigning European champions on an awful run of form, and any hope of causing an upset this weekend looks bleak at best for Imanol Alguacil's side.
Sociedad have their fair share of danger men, but even the likes of Willian José and Mikel Oyarzabal, Sunday's visitors best hopes on matchday 18 is to avoid a cricket score.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4-1 Real Sociedad