Madrid: Real Madrid face a vital 90 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium when they face Deportivo la Coruna Saturday after what has been a difficult seven days for the club.
Although they still lead the La Liga table by one point, Real know that following their 0-4 defeat away to Atletico Madrid a week ago, they cannot afford any further setbacks with FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both finding their form, reports Xinhua.
The defeat in the Vicente Calderon did a lot of damage to Real's image with coach Carlo Ancelotti commenting afterwards they had been second best in everything during the game.
The image was not improved 24 hours later when images of the celebrations of Cristiano Ronaldo's 30th birthday party, which was held after the game, saw several players enjoying themselves as if nothing had happened.
Club president Florentino Perez visited the training ground during the week to lay down the law. And it will be interesting to see what kind of reception the players get from the traditionally demanding fans in the Bernabeu during Saturday's game.
Perez received a further setback Wednesday when a court in Madrid announced that it had maintained the appeals against the proposed development to the club's home ground. The court's decision effectively ended plans to extend and put a roof at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid are without several players for the game with leftback Fabio Coentrao, central defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe, as well as midfielders Sami Khedira and Luka Modric all sidelined for the game.
That will see Rafael Varane and Nacho Fernandez, who both struggled against Atletico, continue against Deportivo, while Marcelo is back from suspension to replace Coentrao on the left.
Fans will also be keeping a close eye on the form of Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who has been criticised of late after being accused of selfishness on the ball. It will be interesting to see if Lucas Silva is given the chance to make his debut in the middle of the park.
Real won 8-2 away against La Coruna earlier this season, but Deportivo have improved drastically since then, While Ancelotti's side has gone off the boil. If the visitors can keep it tight in the opening 20 minutes, it will be interesting to see how long the patience of the crowd lasts.