Seven straight wins have taken Real Madrid to within touching distance of the Spanish league title, but on Friday they will have to beat Alaves without their talisman Sergio Ramos.
Club captain Ramos has scored five goals since the league resumed, and his last two spot-kicks have given Madrid the points in tight 1-0 wins in their last two matches.
"The personal statistics are secondary," said Ramos after his goal beat Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. "I just want to help the team and win this league. If I had wanted personal recognition or individual prizes I would have dedicated myself to tennis. The important thing is always what the team wins."
He was booked in the game on Sunday and so will not be available owing to suspension as Madrid faces free-falling Alaves, who have lost their last five games and fired their coach Asier Garitano on Sunday after a defeat to Valladolid the previous night.
On paper, this is Madrid's easiest fixture in the run-in and a chance to move closer to the league title, but coach Zinedine Zidane is taking nothing for granted.
After beating Athletic in San Mames, he said, "I am not considering whether or not we have the job 'half done,' even if you ask me every day. "I have a lot of experience in my career, as a player as well, and I know that all games are difficult.
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