Real Madrid will hope to return to winning ways in La Liga on Saturday afternoon following their 2-1 defeat to Valencia in midweek when they face Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Defeat at the Mestalla on Wednesday was the latest dip during a turbulent season for Los Blancos, opening the gap between Zinedine Zidane's team and league leaders and major rivals Barcelona to a seemingly unbridgeable 13 points.
The remaining eight La Liga games of the season seem to present Zidane with a free hit, who will look to rotate and experiment while still achieving a top four finish as he prepares to guide a Madrid resurgence next season.
Similarly to Madrid, Eibar also have relatively little to play for, as the Basque side currently sit safely in tenth, ten points clear of the relegation zone. With Madrid's patchy form, this could be a fantastic opportunity for Jose Luis Mendilibar's team to grab a historic win at the previously intimidating Bernabeu.
Here is 90min's preview of Saturday's La Liga clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 6 April|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:15 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Estadio Santiago Bernabeu|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
A huge setback for Zinedine Zidane is that exciting Brazilian attacker Vinicius Junior has been ruled out for Los Blancos until May.
Summer recruit Thibaut Courtois is likely to miss out on Saturday's game through a thigh injury, alongside midfielder Marcos Llorente and Dani Carvajal, who are unlikely to be risked following fitness concerns. Marcelo is suspended.
Papa Diop will be a huge absence for the visitors on Saturday, as the central midfielder is serving a suspension following his yellow card during their 2-1 victory against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.
Centre backs Pedro Bigas and Anaitz Arbilla remain unavailable due to injury, whilst Jordi Calavera and Fran Rico are likely to miss out despite nearing match fitness.
||Navas; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Ceballos, Casemiro, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Isco.
|Eibar||Dmitrovic; Pena, Ramis, Oliveira, Cote; Cardona, Jordan, Alvarez, Orellana; Charles, Enrich.|
Head to Head Record
Eibar earned a historic first victory against Real Madrid during the teams' first meeting of the season back in November, as they thumped Santiago Solari's team 3-0.
Goals from Gonzalo Escalante, Sergi Enrich and Kike gave Los Armeros a sizeable and memorable victory at the Municipal de Ipurua.
However, barring that result the fixture has historically been a one sided affair since Eibar's promotion to the Spanish top flight in 2014, with Los Blancos winning seven of the eight matches between the clubs, with the other being a draw.
The greatest result that Eibar have mustered in the league at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu was that single draw, which came during the 2016/17 campaign, in which Fran Rico's early opener was cancelled out by a Gareth Bale equaliser.
Zinedine Zidane's unbeaten start to life back in the Spanish capital came to an abrupt end during La Liga's midweek fixtures, as they left the Mestalla empty handed following a defeat at the hands of Valencia.
However, previous to this, the Frenchman seemed to have steadied the ship by piecing together three straight league victories, including a relatively unconvincing but dramatic late success at home to lowly Huesca thanks to a stoppage winner from Karim Benzema.
While Real Madrid's three game unbeaten run finished with defeat during midweek, Eibar experienced a contrast in fortunes as they ended a three game run without victory with a win against Rayo Vallecano.
Eibar have only failed to score in one of their last 11 La Liga's fixtures, which will encourage them ahead of such a notable date in their calendar. However, despite sitting mid-table, they have conceded 41 goals this season, which is the highest in La Liga's top 12 sides.
|Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid (3/4)||Eibar 2-1 Rayo Vallecano (3/4)|
|Real Madrid 3-2 Huesca (31/3)
||Levante 2-2 Eibar (31/3)|
|Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo (16/3)
||Eibar 1-2 Valladolid (17/3)|
|Valladolid 1-4 Real Madrid (10/3)
||Alaves 1-1 Eibar (9/3)|
|Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5/3)
||Eibar 1-0 Celta Vigo (3/3)|
Los Blancos have endured an awful season in comparison to their usual high standards, whilst Eibar could be on track to match or even better their best ever finish in La Liga.
It all could depend upon motivation and mindset, as both clubs could easily become complacent and switch off mentally due to their league situations, but the possibility of adding to Madrid's misery could be enough of a driving force for Eibar to pull off something historic.
Whilst Eibar will prove tricky customers for Madrid, Los Blancos will not lose a second straight game, as Zidane may pick players who need to prove their worth and audition for a role in his Real Madrid rebuild.
While a bold shout, a score draw could be on the card, and potentially even a late Madrid equaliser to spare their blushes.