Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s shock 2-0 Champions League loss to Wolfsburg when they resume La Liga duties against Eibar.
Coach Zinedine Zidane is banking on the Santiago Bernabeu effect to power a comeback in the return leg and he will be hoping to get a preview of that on Saturday.
The Frenchman took full responsibility for his side’s terrible performance in Germany, but said it would be wrong to lose sight of the positive steps made in recent weeks – particularly the 2-1 Clasico win over Barcelona.
“What we have done recently has been positive and I’m not going to go crazy. We cannot be happy with this game,” he said.
“We have to have a look at it and analyse it.
“We suffered physically [after El Clasico], especially in the first half. We have to analyse the 90 minutes well.
“We lacked intensity and mobility in all areas, especially at the beginning. Now we have an opportunity in the second leg but first we have a game in La Liga on Saturday.”
Zidane assured Madrid’s supporters the players have been stung by the result and are eager to respond on Saturday.
“They are hurt by the defeat because no one likes to lose, but they are united,” he said.
“What we have to think is that we can move forward. From the players I ask for calm and unity because we have the chance to change things.”
Eibar are ninth in La Liga after 31 games, sitting in the top half of the table despite having gone almost two months without a win.
Their last victory came on February 15, a 2-0 home triumph over Levante.
Since then, they have lost five of their last seven games, drawing the other two and although they remain 10 points clear of the relegation zone with seven games to play, coach Jose Luis Mendilibar will be keen to stop the rot.
They were beaten 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu last April and will hope to avoid a similar fate on their second Liga visit to the stadium a year later.
Key Opta stats:
-Real Madrid have won all of their three league games against Eibar without conceding.
-Eibar’s Jose Luis Mendilibar has won just one of his 12 games as a La Liga coach against Real Madrid (D2 L9) – that win came during his time at Valladolid.
-Real Madrid have the highest pass completion rate in La Liga this season (86.94 per cent), while Eibar have the lowest (67.63 per cent).
-Eibar have dropped the most points in La Liga this season due to goals conceded in the second half (17).
-Just three of the last 16 Real Madrid goals in La Liga have been scored in the first half of their games.
-Madrid have the lowest rate of goals scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half across La Liga (nine per cent).
-With 19 games played, Gareth Bale has already equalled his best goal-scoring record in a La Liga season for Real Madrid (15, alongside 2013/14, when he played 27 games).
-Eibar’s Ander Capa is the player with the most balls lost in La Liga this season (661).