It has been a turbulent time for Real Madrid, yet the show must go on for the European champions who begin their Copa del Rey campaign on Wednesday night with Santiago Solari in temporary charge of the team.
Los Blancos visit the Spanish enclave of Melilla, geographically located on the Moroccan coast, looking to improve their current run of just one win in their last seven matches.
The round of 32 is when the top flight teams enter the Copa del Rey and the nature of the draw means that Real Madrid are always pitted against one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition.
Third tier Melilla are priced at 16/1 (17.00) with bet365 to claim a win, which is perhaps shorter than one might expect. The visitors are offered at 1/8 (1.12), with the draw available at 15/2 (8.50).
Expect Solari to call up plenty of youth team players for the matchday squad and having spent five years coaching in the Real Madrid youth academy, the Argentine is well versed with the young talents available.
Nevertheless, given Madrid's poor run, the club cannot afford a negative result so the starting eleven should feature plenty of experience as well. In terms of injuries, Marcelo limped off in the Clasico and is unlikely to be available, while Dani Carvajal remains out.
Real Madrid's first game of the year in the Copa del Rey is always a tough one to call, given it is against much lower ranked opposition and that normally plenty of players are rested.
There is a real need to win in Melilla on Wednesday night for the European champions although they will come up against a side who will have almost as much motivation - if not more.
Melilla are second in their division and have kept clean sheets in four of their last five matches, so will know that they can put up a fight and frustrate a Madrid side who have struggled in front of goal this season.
Since going eight hours without a goal, Real Madrid have scored four times, although three of those four goals have come from left-back Marcelo who is likely to be miss out.
Tips and predictions
Last season at this stage of the competition, Madrid needed two penalties to record a 2-0 win at third tier Fuenlabrada, and perhaps a similar showing is on the cards. A win for the visitors and under 3.5 goals in the game looks like a solid option at 6/5 (2.20).
In their last eight matches in the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid have faced Celta Vigo, Fuenlabrada, Numancia and Leganes, with the Bernabeu outfit scoring more than two goals on just one occasion.
Prices correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.