All eyes are focused on Sunday's El Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu, where Real Madrid host Barcelona in one of the most decisive derbies of recent years – there are just 10 rounds left in the Spanish league and Los Blancos are four points above the Catalans.
La Liga leaders Real are in control of their destiny as they sit atop the table with a three point over Atletico Madrid and four over Barca, and Carlo Ancelotti's side are desperate to finish their eternal rivals' chances.
Real have not lost in any competition since suffering defeat at the Camp Nou at the end of October.. They face a different prospect this time as the Catalans giants' form has been in gradual decline ever since that Clasico in Catalunya. Since that match, Tata Martino's side have lost 10 points - and their aura of invincibility.
However, victory at the Bernabeu would drag Barca back into the title race, as they would be just one point adrift to the leaders, and would provide a huge morale boost as they move towards the end of the season. But a defeat would put them seven points adrift with nine games left, a gap that would appear insurmountable given Madrid's recent form.
Real arrive in top form with perfect balance throughout the side. Boss Carlo Ancelotti has at his disposal the most dangerous attacking line-up on the continent, the 'BBC', comprising Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
Bale is looking forward to the derby as he struggled in the Camp Nou's El Clasico, which came during a period in which he struggled for fitness and form. But now, five months on, the 24-year-old is in much better shape, even though he himself believes he has not reached the top.
Bale has found a home out on the right of Real Madrid's now famed BBC, and the combination has scored 52 goals between them with Bale getting on the scoresheet 14 times and providing 17 assists – more than any other La Liga player.
Real remain in contention to win the treble. They play Barcelona again in April's Copa del Rey final and look like one of the strong favourites to win the Champions League after easing to a 9-2 aggregate win over Schalke in the last 16.