Real Madrid host the surprise package of the La Liga season Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish top flight on Saturday evening.
Carlo Ancelotti's side predictably occupy the lofty reaches of the table, sitting one point behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand. Newly-promoted Rayo, on the other hand, trail their illustrious hosts by just four points and reside in the dizzying realms of sixth with almost a third of the campaign played.
Here's all you need to know about the upcoming clash.
How to watch Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano on TV/live stream
When is kick off? Saturday 6 November, 20:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
What TV channel is it on? Premier Sports 2/LaLiga TV (UK), ESPN+ (US), TSN (Canada)
Highlights? La Liga YouTube channel
Referee? Pablo González Fuertes
Real Madrid team news
Despite a rare start against Elche last weekend - which he marked with an assist - Mariano Diaz has been ruled out until the other side of the November international break after breaking his nose. Casemiro was also on the end of a blow to the face but avoided any broken bones, though Madrid's Brazilian winger Rodrygo was forced off in the same match with a hamstring injury after just 18 minutes.
Gareth Bale is yet to return to training with his club, but has done nothing to change any queries regarding his hierarchy of commitments by making himself available for international selection, and is part of Robert Page's upcoming Wales squad.
Fede Valverde is also unlikely to feature as he recovers from a sprained knee suffered in El Clasico.
Rayo Vallecano team news
Rayo are set to make the 30 minute drive across Spain's capital with a largely unblemished squad. Manager Andoni Iraola is unlikely to be able to call upon winger Martin Merquelanz, who's been out with a sprained knee since September, but - crucially - should be able to select his joint-top scorers this season; Alvaro Garcia, and a familiar foe to those on Real's half of Madrid, Radamel Falcao.
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano predicted lineups
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius
Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Maras, Catena, Francisco Garcia; Comesana, Valentin; Camacho, Lopez, Alvaro Garcia; Falcao
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano head-to-head record
While Rayo have bounced between Spain's top three tiers for much of their history, meetings with one of the three clubs never to be relegated from La Liga have been relatively scarce.
In total, the two capital sides have duked it out 36 times in the top flight, with Madrid claiming an overwhelming tally of 28 wins to Rayo's measly five. Although it was Los Franjirrojos (The Red Sashes) who claimed victory in their most recent meeting; a shocking and completely deserved 1-0 win at home to their city rivals in 2019.
However, Rayo have only ever won once away to Real in 18 attempts, losing on their last nine trips to the other side of the capital.
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano score prediction
Real Madrid may have only lost one of their opening 11 league games back under the stewardship of Ancelotti, but Los Merengues have been far from faultless this term. Madrid's mediocre tally of 12 goals conceded is made all the more worrisome considering they rank in the depths of 15th for non-penalty expected goals (xG) conceded (per FBref).
Ancelotti's side have so far compensated a leaky rearguard with a blistering attack that is significantly outperforming its xG figures going forward - supercharged by the red-hot form of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior who have 16 league goals between them (Rayo only have 18 collectively).
The relative minnows of the capital may also be riding a bit of luck to find themselves as high as the European places but will need more than a smattering of good fortune to beat their fallible, but rightly feared opponents.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Rayo Vallecano