In their bid to make it five league wins on the bounce, Real Madrid play host to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
Los Blancos moved four points clear at the top of the La Liga table with a win over Sevilla at the weekend, while the visitors saw their league winless run stretched to five games.
Following the return of manager Carlo Ancelotti over the summer, Real Madrid have had a relatively strong start in their bid to reclaim the La Liga title.
In line with an improvement in the Champions League, with the Madrid giants confirming their passage to the round of 16 with a double over Shakhtar Donetsk and a victory against Sheriff Tiraspol consecutively, they have also strung four league wins together heading into Wednesday.
After wins over Elche and Rayo Vallecano heading into the recent international break, Ancelotti’s men picked up where they left off upon the return, firstly thrashing Granada 4-1 thanks to goals from Marco Asensio, Nacho, Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy.
Vinicius was again on the scoresheet last time out, as he secured all three points for his side in the dying minutes against Sevilla, after Karim Benzema had drawn them level in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With previous league leaders Real Sociedad falling to a defeat at the weekend, Los Blancos now boast a four-point lead at the summit of the Spanish top flight, having won 10 of their 14 games, and they will be keen to make it five on the spin on home turf on Wednesday
They welcome an Athletic Bilbao side looking to arrest a slump, with the visitors failing to win any of their last five league outings.
Marcelino’s men enjoyed a strong start to the domestic campaign, collecting 16 points from their opening nine La Liga matches, but their form has since taken a dip.
After draws with Espanyol and Real Sociedad, the Basque outfit suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to strugglers Cadiz prior to the international break.
Since their return, Athletic Club have failed to beat Levante and Granada, both of whom sit in the bottom five with the former winless so far this term, playing out disappointing draws on both occasions.
As a result, Marcelino’s side have now dropped to eighth spot in the top flight, and they face a particularly tough task on Wednesday in their bid to halt the difficult run and climb back into the top six.
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
We say: Real Madrid 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Given the form of the two sides, we can only see Los Blancos extending their winning run on Wednesday.
The hosts’ front line is full of confidence, while the visitors are far from their best and could be picked apart in the capital.