Real Madrid know that anything less than a win against Villarreal on Saturday will squander their title chances in La Liga, but even a victory might not be enough.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are currently two points behind Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, with their neighbours set to face Real Valladolid – a side playing for their safety in the league – at the same time as Real’s game.
Los Blancos have won twice in a row to maintain some pressure on Atleti, but will be without a number of key figures for their must win encounter.
Real have had issues with availability all season, particularly in defence, so it is only fitting that Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal be out injured while Raphael Varane remains a slight doubt.
The Frenchman has resumed training after missing the side’s last four games and should be ready to start, if for no other reason than Madrid’s dire need.
Toni Kroos has contracted COVID-19 meaning the midfield picks itself – Casemiro, Luka Modrid and Federico Valverde all set to go again.
Karim Benzema has moved into second in the golden boot standings – though seven goals behind Lionel Messi – and has been rewarded with a first France call-up since 2015 after an excellent campaign.
Zidane will be hoping his start No.9 can do the business for him again in this one, with Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard in support. Now would be a great time for Hazard’s career at the Bernabeu to really take off.
Real last won consecutive La Liga titles in 2014 and will be out to deny Diego Simeone and Atleti their first crown since 2014, and just the club’s second title this century.