Having conceded a late equaliser at home to Espanyol in their last match to draw 2-2, coach Jose Mourinho all but admitted the 13-point gap to Barcelona would be too big to make up, yet he will be hoping that those words might galvanise some sort of reaction in his players on Saturday night.
William Hill have Madrid at 8/15 (1.53) to claim a victory, with Malaga offered at 5/1 (6.00) and the draw available at 31/10 (4.10).
The size of the price on an away win reflects not only Malaga's strength this season, but los Blancos' fragility on the road where they have already lost three matches. Plenty of punters will feel that the price is big enough to invest in and they would be right, either outright or in a multiple bet.
It is extremely rare to see Madrid at 8/15 (1.53) to win a match in La Liga, especially at a ground where they have such a good record.
The champions have won eight of their last nine visits to Malaga in all competitions, winning 4-0 and 4-1 respectively on each of their previous two league trips.
While it is true the Andalusians have improved and looked extremely solid at the back, there is still every chance Madrid will overcome them as they attempt to right some of their recent wrongs.
For a value bet, back Mourinho's men to come from behind to win the game at 6/1 (7.00), something which happened in their last away game in the league at Valladolid.
|Real Madrid to win at 8/15 (1.53) with William Hill
||Madrid to concede first and win at 6/1 (7.00) with William Hill|
Sign up with for a £25 free bet and back Phil's selections for this match
Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.