Real Madrid travel to Real Valladolid in La Liga on Sunday evening having been humiliated by Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday in a 4-1 home defeat.
Sergio Ramos is rumoured to have delivered a motivational speech to his teammates to inspire a turnaround in form, with second place now the objective for Los Blancos having exited the cup competitions and already being a whopping 12 points behind league leaders Barcelona.
Check out 90min's preview for Sunday's game below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 10 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Jose Zorrilla|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports|
|Referee?||Jesus Gil Manzano|
Dani Carvajal joins Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez on the treatment table following their injuries against Ajax. The right back managed to complete 90 minutes in midweek but was subsequently diagnosed with a grade two rupture in his thigh.
Vinicius and Vazquez, meanwhile, were forced off against the Dutch side, the former suspected to be out of action for two months after tearing ankle ligaments. Ramos is back available for domestic games following his European suspension.
Real Valladolid, meanwhile, are still missing defensive midfielder Luismi and winger Toni Villa.
|Real Valladolid||Masip; Olivas, B. Fernandez, J. Fernandez; Antonito, Mohamed, Alcaraz, Nacho; Plano; Unal, Guardiola.|
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Asensio.|
Head to Head Record
Real Madrid have won four out of the last five La Liga meetings between the sides, with Real Valladolid's last win coming in 2008. That same year also yielded Madrid's largest margin of victory against the opponent, winning 7-0 in a comprehensive home win.
Madrid came out on top in the October tie between the teams, winning 2-0 courtesy of a late goal from substitute Vinicius Junior and a Sergio Ramos penalty.
Real Madrid have had a disastrous week, losing to rivals Barcelona in both the Copa del Rey semi-final and in La Liga, before Ajax completed a remarkable comeback against them in the Champions League round of 16 second leg.
The Champions League holders therefore have no trophies to play for, an unheard of situation for Los Blancos at the start of March, and instead have to play for pride until the end of the season.
Real Valladolid, meanwhile, are on a poor run of form themselves, with four losses in five dragging them into the relegation battle, fearful that last season's play-off winners could be headed straight back to the Segunda Division.
Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Real Valladolid||Real Madrid|
|Espanyol 3-1 Valladolid (02/03)||Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (05/03)|
|Valladolid 0-2 Betis (24/02)||Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona (02/03)|
|Barcelona 1-0 Valladolid (16/02)||Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona (27/02)|
|Valladolid 0-0 Villarreal (08/02)||Levante 1-2 Real Madrid (24/02)|
|Huesca 4-0 Valladolid (01/01)||Real Madrid 1-2 Girona (17/02)|
Real Madrid have lost their last four fixtures at the Bernabeu, and so an away trip to a struggling side must feel like a welcome relief for Solari's men after a tumultuous few weeks. Injuries to Vinicius, Carvajal and Vazquez are nevertheless a blow, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio struggling to carry the attacking burden of the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Despite the woeful form, however, it is difficult to imagine this rot continuing indefinitely, so expect an unconvincing Madrid victory on Sunday.
Prediction: Real Valladolid 1-2 Real Madrid