Following two successive draws in LaLiga, Real Madrid head to the Estadio Anoeta in desperate need of goals and the connection between Isco and Marco Asensio is absolutely vital to that endeavour.
Last season it was the trio of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo that was relied upon for goals, yet since the beginning of the LaLiga campaign there hasn’t been an instance where the three have played together.
Obviously this doesn’t represent the permanent changing of the guard, yet it does give a glimpse into Los Blancos’ future with Isco and Asensio likely to feature heavily in Madrid for many years.
For the moment the young pair have to drag Zinedine Zidane’s charges to a win on Sunday ; falling seven points behind Barcelona in the title race would be unthinkable at this stage.
In the two fixtures against Valencia and Levante, out of over 40 shots on goal only three have been converted by Real Madrid.
This is a hugely uncharacteristic dip in goalscoring and it is something that has irked the French coach over the course of the last fortnight.
Benzema is injured and Ronaldo suspended for the trip to the Basque club and thus Bale will be tasked with leading the line on his own.
Asensio’s return from an infected pimple is timely, the Spanish midfielder has been the brightest point of the club’s domestic campaign to this point.
Isco and Asensio are vital attacking figures and will need to perform on Sunday if Los Blancos are to end their run of poor results.
The freedom afforded to the 25-year-old on the left flank is indicative of just how highly Zidane thinks of him.
Make no mistake, it is his own hard work over the last six months which has led to this, but the French coach certainly needed convincing.
When the pair link-up on the pitch then it is quite simple: magic happens. And this is precisely the spark which could drag a Real Madrid side that lacks confidence out of their slump.
So many times bonds formed away from the pitch are then illustrated once players play together and this is exactly the case here.
Away from the pitch the pair maintain a strong relationship, and as Asensio puts it, if Isco is his brother, then Asensio is Isco’s ‘pisha’, aka his best mate.