Real Madrid could cut the gap to top of the table Barcelona with a victory against Real Sociedad this weekend.
The side from the Spanish capital trail the leaders by seven points but, should they overcome the Whites and Blues, Real could reduce the deficit to just four.
As for the visitors, they are enduring something of a disappointing season and look likely to be involved in a relegation battle.
Sociedad have picked up just 19 points from their 17 matches and are three points ahead of the drop zone.
|Game||Real Madrid v Real Sociedad|
|Date||Sunday, January 6|
|Time||5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be streamed via Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Eleven Sports 1|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Casilla, Courtois, Navas|
|Defenders||Ramos, Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo, Reguilon, Odriozola|
|Midfielders||Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Casemiro, Isco, Ceballos|
|Forwards||Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Jr.|
Gareth Bale is a huge doubt for this one, in the week where he was criticised by former forward Predrag Mijatovic.
The Welshman was replaced at half-time by Isco, who looks likely to deputise for the former Tottenham man on Sunday.
However, manager Santiago Solari is hopeful the injury isn’t too serious.
“For now we believe that the Bale thing is something light and today they will put him on tests and we will have more information,” the Real boss said ahead of the game.
“We hope he is back soon because he is a very important player. The most important thing now is to recover players and avoid them getting injured. Footballers are not machines.”
Real are still without Marcos Llorente, Mariano Diaz and Marco Asensio, all of whom are missing through injury.
Possible Real Madrid staring XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Vazquez, Benzema, Isco.
|Position||Real Sociedad squad|
|Defenders||Zaldua, Llorente, Moreno, Elustondo, Gorosabel|
|Midfielders||Illarramendi, Zubeldia, Merino, Oyarzabal, Janujaz, Pardo, Zurutuza|
|Forwards||Juanmi, Jose, Bautista, Ramirez|
Sociedad have a problem at left-back where on-loan Theo Hernandez is ineligible to play against his parent club, and back-up Kevin Rodrigues is injured.
First-choice goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya also looks likely to miss the match through injury, meaning Geronimo Rulli should start between the sticks.
Joseba Zaldua and Andoni Gorosabel missed La Real’s last game before the Christmas break, but could return for the trip to the Bernabeu.
Long-term absentees Martin Merquelanz and Raul Navas remain unavailable, while midfielder Luca Sangalli continues to recover from a mild stroke he suffered in October.
Possible Real Sociedad starting XI: Moya; Elustondo, Llorente, Moreno, Zaldua; Illarramendi, Zubeldia, Janujaz, Juanmi, Oyarzabal, Jose
Betting & Match Odds
The hosts are big favourites for this one and can be backed at 1/3 with bet365. The bookmakers will offer 13/2 on an unlikely Sociedad win, while a draw is 5/1.
This is Madrid’s second game back following the Spanish winter break, while this is the visitor’s first match since a 1-0 defeat to Alaves on December 21.
Since then Los Blancos have won the Club World Cup, beating Al Ain in the final 4-1, and have also returned to La Liga action.
Solari’s men conceded a late equaliser against Villarreal on Thursday, however the result means Real are now unbeaten in their last four league matches.
Since being appointed as manager in November, Solari has seen his side slowly rise up the table, but his ultimate aim is to catch leaders Barcelona at the league’s summit.
“The objective is to continue climbing positions, the beginning has not been easy and we have gone from ninth to fourth," he said.
"The competition is open and we have to continue to cut [Barcelona's advantage] and go to each battle to win it. We had a good first half in Villarreal but it cost us the points for not scoring our chances.”
After this fixture, Madrid are involved in a two-legged Copa del Rey tie against Leganes, which are separated only by Los Blancos’ La Liga game against Real Betis next week.
Real also face Ajax in the Champions League last 16 next month and Solari wants his side to be able to compete on three fronts in the latter stages of the season.
“We face three competitions and we'll try to put in all the energy levels,” he said. "The rivals change and their characteristics, the players are not machines. Nobody has had less vacation time than us, the players put all their effort in.”
When Sociedad last travelled to the Bernabeu the hosts ran out as comfortable 5-2 winners thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick and strikes from Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal.
Imanol Alguacil’s men will be hoping for better this time around, although they may be concerned at just how close the gap has got between themselves and the bottom three.
A run of four straight defeats before Christmas saw Alguacil replace former coach Asier Garitano at the Basque club.