Liverpool visit the Spanish capital to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night, desperate to avoid a repeat of the drubbing they received in the reverse fixture at Anfield two weeks ago.
Real have been in sensational form of late, winning their last 11 matches in all competitions, including a 3-1 win in the El Clasico at the Bernabeu recently.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have been ripping their opponents apart for the last couple of months, and warmed up for this tie with a 4-0 win at Granada at the weekend, which saw them move to the top of La Liga table, two points above archrivals Barcelona.
The 4-4-2 system, deployed by Ancelotti in Gareth Bale's absence, has proved to be a masterstroke, and it will be interesting to see how the Italian tactician accommodates the Welsh wizard into his lineup now.
Real are also in charge of the Champions League Group B table, with nine points from three matches so far, and now Liverpool, Basel and Ludogorets - all on three points each - are battling for the second qualifying spot. Ancelotti will be looking to confirm qualification tonight itself, with yet another comprehensive win over the Reds.
"We're playing well. We know how important every match is. We are focused on the game against Liverpool. Every match is a test and a chance to improve or take a step back, but we are not afraid because I have a very professional team," the manager pointed out.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have struggled for consistency from the start of this season, and have managed just one win in their last four matches - a 2-1 home triumph over Swansea City in the League Cup fourth round.
Brendan Rodgers could really use a result tonight, following two straight defeats in the Champions League. The Reds enter this tie on the back of a shock 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United at the weekend.
And with Chelsea set to visit Anfield next weekend, Rodgers is expected to rest captain Steven Gerrard tonight, while Raheem Sterling and Dejan Lovren might also get a breather.
"It's a big week. We're coming off the back of a disappointing result, but our confidence is high going into every game. We're looking forward to the game - it's an opportunity, not a threat. We're in the hunt to qualify, it's in our hands. We will respect our opponents - arguably the best side in the world at the moment - but we are also a quality outfit," the Northern Irishman stated.
Real: Fabio Coentrao, Jese (both knee), Daniel Carvajal (hamstring), Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira (both unspecified) have been ruled out of this tie. But Gareth Bale (gluteus) has finally returned to the fold, and is in contention to start.
Liverpool: Mamadou Sakho (knee), Jon Flanagan, Jose Enrique (all knee) and Suso (groin) all remain sidelined for tonight. Daniel Sturridge (calf) has travelled with the squad to Madrid, though he is "highly unlikely" to feature, according to Rodgers.
Real: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Rodriguez, Modric, Kroos, Isco; Ronaldo, Benzema
Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Lucas, Allen; Lallana, Henderson, Markovic; Balotelli
Where to Watch Live
The Champions League Group B match is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST (7.45 pm GMT, 3.45 pm ET) start, with live coverage on Ten Action in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India on Ten Sports Live.
Viewers in the UK can watch the match live on ITV 1 UK and UTV or listen to the action live on BBC Radio 5 Live. US viewers can watch the game live on Fox Sports 1 USA or online on Fox Soccer 2Go. Audience in Canada can watch the game via a live stream on Watch Sportsnet.
Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match on beIN Sports Arabia 11 HD and beIN Sports Arabia 14 HD, or via live streaming online, courtesy beIN Sports Connect. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can watch the match on SuperSport 3 Africa or SuperSport online.