Real Madrid's recent rocky form has allowed Barcelona to pull an unassailable 12 points clear at the top of the La Liga table. Zinedine Zidane's side can realistically now only hope to overhaul their four-point deficit to second-placed rivals Atlético Madrid, thereby once again being relegated to the rather humiliating position as Spain's third club. They'll bid to move closer when they take on struggling Las Palmas away at the Estadio Gran Canaria on Sunday.
However, that may well be easier said than done. Las Palmas have arrested their slide with three consecutive wins, and though their buffer above the relegation zone is now four points, they're surely not going to ease up now. They'll be hoping the momentum they've recently generated will prove sufficient to facilitate a rather unlikely result against the frustrated Madrilenians.
Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Well, duh. The hiring of Zidane appeared to cure Ronaldo's Rafa Benítez-based tantrum, and he's responded by going on a ridiculous run of form. Since the turn of the year he's found the net 15 times, and is provisionally a goal clear of Barcelona's Luis Suárez at the top of the La Liga scoring charts. He'll doubtless be looking to add to his tally again on Sunday.
Real Madrid won 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu in the reverse fixture -- the first meeting between these teams in over a decade. However, Real Madrid coach Zidane will have bad memories of Madrid's last visit to the Canary Islanders: he played in a stunning 4-2 defeat away at Las Palmas in 2001. Rather ominously Real Madrid would go on to finish that season third, and Las Palmas still couldn't do enough to avoid the drop.
Las Palmas injuries and suspensions
Out: Hernán (calf); Javi Castellano (knee); Vicente Gómez (shoulder); Wakaso Mubarak (hamstring). In doubt: Tana (calf).
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Karim Benzema (hamstring). In doubt: None.
Las Palmas have a string of absentees, with defender Castellano and midfielders Vicente and Hernán arguably their most costly. However, they'll hope to have winger Tana back after a slight problem, with the Spaniard having played a regular role in their attack so far this season.
Real Madrid are considerably more fortunate on the fitness front: their only confirmed absentee is striker Karim Benzema, who is still out with a troublesome hamstring. Otherwise, coach Zidane is expected to have a fully fit squad at his disposal.
Match date/time: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. local
Venue: Estadio Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
TV: beIN Sports (US and Canada - English); beIN Sports en Español (US and Canada - Spanish); Sky Sports 1/HD (UK)
Online: beIN Sports Connect (US and Canada); fuboTV (US); Sky Go (UK)