With a visit to the Estadio Riazor on Sunday evening to face Deportivo La Coruna, Real Madrid are ready to begin the defence of their LaLiga crown.
If winning the domestic title back for the first time since Jose Mourinho’s time with the club was an obsession for Los Blancos in 2016/17, then retaining it is another one.
Zinedine Zidane’s charges will expect to get off to a winning start against a team who narrowly avoided relegation last term.
Such is the dominance held over all rivals by the current incumbents of the famous white shirt, there is every hope that the team can win every single trophy on offer in a single season.
No team has ever done this although Pep Guardiola’s came close by winning everything possible in a calendar year.
This is obviously a pipedream at this point with the focus on starting well, however it is difficult to see just which team across the board in Europe and South America could possible derail the Spanish champions.
Two of the hurdles have already been negotiated with the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana in Los Blancos’ possession via victories over Manchester United and Barcelona.
Changes in the starting line-up are expected from Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Los Cules with Casemiro, Isco and Gareth Bale set to return
The French coach’s policy of rotation will undoubtedly continue for this season after it worked so effectively last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence will inevitably be felt but the team should have more than enough quality to overcome Pepe Mel’s side, especially when you consider the form of their attacking players.
After a five year gap between Zidane’s first domestic championship and the one which Mourinho lifted, the club are determined to avoid a repeat of such an embarrassment.
Deportivo are aware it will be difficult to keep their opponents from scoring however it is not their intention to dedicate themselves only to work on the defensive side of the ball.
Stopping Real Madrid’s midfield from dictating the match will be a crucial part of their game plan with Mel hoping to also be an effective force on the counter attack with solid work in transitional phases.
Furthermore, there will be debuts for three of the La Coruna club’s new signings on Sunday; Fabian Schar, Fede Cartabia and Zakaria Bakkali all expected to start.