Real Madrid welcome city rivals Atletico Madrid to the Santiago Bernabeu for the latest La Liga instalment of the Spanish capital's derby on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have the chance to extend their winning run to a staggering ten straight matches across all competitions. The last time Madrid hit double digits for consecutive victories was when they closed out the lockdown La Liga title in 2020. A win against Atletico may not officially seal this season's title but it goes a long way to doing so.
Here's the familiar XI Ancelotti may well deploy to wrap one hand around the trophy before Christmas.
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Belgium's number one left Atletico Madrid in 2014 as a league title winner. However, his former fans have swiftly forgotten his past triumphs, covering a plaque in his honour outside the stadium with rats when he returned - point made.
Dani Carvajal (RB) - Real's first-choice right back follows a strict gluten-free, wheat-free, nightshade diet, as he explained: "It's like eating broccoli every morning, afternoon and evening."
Eder Militao (CB) - A commanding fixture of Madrid's backline has remarkably lightened the heavy blow of losing both Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos in the same summer.
David Alaba (CB) - A scorer on his clasico debut, it's hardly out of the question to suggest the roaming number four will add to his tally in the upcoming derby.
Ferland Mendy (LB) - Since the left back's return to the side after the October international break - which coincides with a not insignificant reversion to an un-tinkered 4-3-3 - Madrid have gone from shipping 1.2 goals per game, to just 0.5.
Luka Modric (CM) - Madrid's oldest player, much like his manager, doesn't abide by the theory of rotation, as he outlined: “I feel better when I play than when I rest."
Casemiro (CM) - Ancelotti freely admitted that his fabled midfield trio have such an innate understanding he is content to stand back and admire their guile on and off the ball: "You won't catch me interfering and ordering them how or where to move in a match."
Toni Kroos (CM) - Five direct goal contributions (three goals, two assists) in his last seven matches only scratches at the surface of Kroos' integral importance to the side's rejuvenated form.
Marco Asensio (RW) - Locked in a battle with Rodrygo - rather than Eden Hazard, who lingers some way down the pecking order - for the one open spot in Madrid's largely settled XI.
Luka Jovic (ST) - While Karim Benzema desperately tries to recover for the final leg of Madrid's season-defining glut of fixtures, Jovic is on standby, safe in the knowledge that he has two impressive performances at the tip of the attack to fall back upon should he be needed on Sunday.
Vinicius Junior (LW) - Currently on a run of 20 consecutive starts, it feels as though eons have elapsed since Ancelotti plumped for Hazard ahead of Vinicius for the season's first two games.