Real Madrid were left frustrated after their opening La Liga match, with Sporting Gijon holding them to a 0-0 draw. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and co. will look for some better attacking output when they host Real Betis at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez needs early wins to win over the fans and show them he is the right man for the job, and after that rather tepid start, the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager will hope for some va va voom at the Bernabeu.
"It surprised me to hear so many people evaluate our performance [against Gijon] as defensive," Benitez said when grilled about that 0-0 draw. "We had more strikes on goal than any other team.
"There were things we need to correct. We've discussed those points and looked at the video. I'm working towards making the team more and more competitive. At the end of the day, people need to see the work being carried out and the team have to understand what they're doing."
Real Betis will come into this game with nothing to lose. Nobody is expecting them to turn over Real Madrid, having only returned to the La Liga this season.
"Pepe Mel knows this ground and Spanish football," Benitez said of the Betis manager. "He understands the importance of doing well in the Bernabeu. I'm expecting them to set up like Sporting, they'll be eager to do well.
"They have great fans and will be highly motivated to give a good account of themselves and get a good result. We are expecting a hard working opposition side, one that will run itself into the ground and not make life easy for us."
Real Madrid are boosted by the return of Karim Benzema, who missed the start of the season through injury, but it remains to be seen if the Frenchman will slot right into the starting lineup.
Benitez was also criticised for leaving James Rodriguez on the bench for the opening La Liga encounter, so it will be interesting to see if the Spaniard changes his lineup for this game against Betis.
Another player keen to impress will be Bale, who has not had the greatest of 12 months in the Real Madrid shirt. It seems every game he goes without scoring goal or making enough of an impact, the fans and the media are on his back, asking for more from the world record signing.
"I understand that there are a lot of media outlets and they have to come up with stories. That means blowing a small story into a big one. At the moment with Gareth it appears that having a pacey player, with a good shot, who can put defenders off balance and can do so many things well is actually a problem," a sarcastic Benitez added.
Where to Watch Live
Real Madrid vs Real Betis is scheduled for a 2 am IST (10.30 pm CET, 9.30 pm BST. 4.30 pm ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Kix and Sony Six HD. Livsports will also provide the online live streaming option in India.
Audience in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa will be able to watch the La Liga game live on Bein Sports, while the live stream option is on Bein Sports Connect.
Viewers in the UK can watch the La Liga match live on Sky Sports, while the action can also be live streamed on Sky Go.