After more than 100 days at the summit of La Liga, the European champions could be dislodged this weekend if they fail to win
Real Madrid have got used to life at the top, but a spell of more than 100 days at the summit of La Liga could come to an end this weekend if they fall short against Deportivo La Coruna .
Last Saturday’s 4-0 loss to city rivals Atletico – their biggest since 2010’s 5-0 thrashing at Barcelona – combined with Barca’s 5-2 win at Athletic Bilbao the following day left Real with a slender one-point lead over Luis Enrique’s side.
Barca are not in action until Sunday, affording Real the chance to pull clear at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo lamented a day to forget after the Vicente Calderon humbling, insisting Real “can’t lose 4-0 to any team”.
It represented a second frustrating game in a row for Ronaldo, who saw red in his previous match at Cordoba before enduring a second consecutive outing without a goal.
He has not gone three club games without scoring since 2013, which will come as an ominous warning to Depor who were beaten 8-2 in September’s reverse fixture, which saw Ronaldo score a hat-trick.
Carlo Ancelotti was highly critical of his players last weekend, admitting they were second best “in every aspect”.
The Italian will not accept a repeat performance, particularly as Real resume the defence of their Champions League crown on Wednesday, with a trip to Schalke for a last-16 first-leg clash.
Pepe was back in training on Thursday after a rib injury, with the defender having been out for almost a month.
Fabio Coentrao remains out, though, after suffering a calf injury in training.
If the scars from Depor’s home hammering against Real are still fresh, Victor Fernandez can at least approach this game with some optimism, having secured back-to-back victories.
Wins over Rayo Vallecano and Eibar have eased their relegation worries, but goals have been hard to come by on the road.
With just six scored in 10 outings, Depor carry little threat in away matches, claiming just two wins on opposition soil.
Recent history does not bode well for the visitors, who have shipped 14 goals on their last three visits to the Bernabeu.
It is a venue at which they have not won since 2004, with Iker Casillas the only survivor in the Real line-up from that match.