Following defeats to both Girona and Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid need to end their slump and get themselves back firing on all cylinders in Sunday’s clash with Las Palmas.
Since Zinedine Zidane took charge at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, there has never been a situation like the one Los Blancos find themselves in right now.
January 2017 saw the club lose two matches in four days after a run of 40 matches without defeat, however this was quickly forgotten as Los Blancos marched on towards glory on both the domestic and continental fronts.
This time however, things feel a little different with Zidane’s side having failed to find their best form since the Supercopa de Espana.
The two-legged victory over Barcelona in the traditional curtain raiser for the Spanish season had many speaking about how the current iteration of the Madrid club could well go onto be one of the greatest football teams to ever play the game.
What has followed has been a slump of surprising proportions, two LaLiga defeats and two draws after just 10 matches have left the team eight points behind the pacesetters, Barcelona.
It depends on how pessimistic a Real Madrid supporter is with regards to judging the season so far, and one could argue that defending the title will be an almost impossible task with Los Blancos having only returned from being eight points behind to win the title as recently as 2003.
On the other hand, the European champions finished second in their Champions League group last season and still went onto win the competition.
Characterising the current squad as a wounded animal wouldn’t be far from the truth, and Sergio Ramos has attempted to galvanise the troops by pointing towards the 2003 success, even though he wasn’t yet at the club.
They want revenge for the recent defeats and Las Palmas may well be walking into the eye of a storm at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
The criticism players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Ramos have faced is inevitably going to make them more determined to perform and end the club’s poor run.
Pako Ayestaran has even further problems, he will be without Alen Halilovic, Jonathan Viera and Oussama Tannane for Sunday’s match.
In training during the week, the former Liverpool coach has trialled a five-man defence in an attempt to try and stop Karim Benzema, Isco and Ronaldo.
The attacking trio will be hoping to take advantage of Mauricio Lemos’ poor form and find their own goal-scoring form.