Real Madrid's players still believe they can win La Liga but have acknowledged the importance of Saturday's home clash versus Rayo Vallecano.
Carlo Ancelotti's men will enter the match hoping to avoid a third defeat in less than a week, with Sunday's home El Clasico loss to Barcelona followed by a 2-1 reverse at Sevilla on Wednesday.
Those results have seen Real drop to third in the table, two points behind Barcelona, and three adrift of city rivals Atletico.
It means Saturday's fixture in the Spanish capital takes on extra significance, with Real's title chances hinging on a positive result.
Defender Pepe and midfielder Xabi Alonso remain convinced they can still usurp their rivals and win the league, though, and they will take comfort from the fact that Barca and Atletico will meet on the last weekend of the season.
"There are still matches left and it's still possible. We have to be ready to win Saturday's match against Rayo," Pepe said.
"Now we have no room for error. We have to fight knowing who is in the battle for the Liga, and knowing that there is no room for mistakes."
Alonso, who gave the ball away in the build-up to one of Sevilla's goals, added: "There is still time to win.
"Atletico and Barcelona are there, who have to make a mistake, and we cannot falter, but we have to believe."
Gareth Bale arrived in Madrid to much fanfare in the close-season, reportedly becoming the world's most expensive player.
And now would be the opportune moment to show why Real spent so much time – and money – in chasing him, with the Wales international going more than a month without a goal for his club.
One man who is having no problems finding the net is Cristiano Ronaldo, who tops the league's scoring charts with 27.
At the other end of the field, Real will welcome Sergio Ramos back from suspension.
Rayo Vallecano travel to Santiago Bernabeu in a buoyant mood, having embarked on a five-match unbeaten run that has included four wins.
That form has helped them move five points clear of the relegation zone but they left it late on Wednesday, beating Osasuna 1-0 thanks to Joaquin Larrivey's penalty in second-half stoppage time.
They gave Real a run for their money in November's reverse fixture, when a pair of Jonathan Viera penalties in the second half set up a nervy finish.
Rayo do have the propensity to get beaten badly, though, having conceded four or more goals in eight league fixtures this season.
And for that reason alone, they will be wary of a Real side desperate to atone for a poor week.
|15||Daniel Carvajal||55' 63'|
|22||Á. di María|
|11||G. Bale||68' 70'|
|Coach: C. Ancelotti|
for Illarramendi 62'
for Á. di María 70'
for K. Benzema 73'
|Berardi will get Italy call when system changes - Ventura|
|Lucas Vazquez delighted by ´dream´ Madrid deal|
|Scottish FA chief backs cross-border competition|
|Dortmund need Reus - Aubameyang|
|Lamela eyeing new Spurs deal|
|Tighter Watford matches are a coincidence, says Mazzarri|
|Karanka: We saved Boro from League One|
|Police investigate homophobic leaflet at West Ham|
|Spain could recall Villa, reveals Lopetegui|
|Hughes backs Bony to break Stoke duck|
|Sarri will greet Higuain ´like a son who made him angry´|
|Robben receives Netherlands recall|
|Dyche considering Gray recall for Burnley|
|Zidane was behind one of my best seasons, says Ronaldo|
|Schweinsteiger absent from United squad photo|
|Emery emphasises Thiago Silva´s importance amid Juve links|
|Ferguson: Leicester will make deep Champions League run|
|Ranieri hails ´special´ Ballon d´Or nominations for Vardy and Mahrez|
|Emery: PSG cannot rely solely on Cavani goals|
|Mourinho can match Guardiola, insists Ferguson|
|Ferguson hails Klopp: Liverpool are strong title contenders now|
|Bayern optimistic over Lewandowski renewal|
|Zubizarreta appointment confirmed by Marseille|
|Clichy: Things will click into place for Manchester City|
|Chiellini: Juventus wanted to send a message|
|Gabigol´s time will come - De Boer|
|Ronaldo: Messi and I are not friends - but we respect each other|
|Earthquake halts play in Serie A game between Pescara and Atalanta|
|Mourinho charged over Taylor comments|
|Ronaldo: I need my haters|
|Badstuber hopeful injury woes behind him|
|Kroos did not want to be rested, insists Zidane|
|Rojo was phenomenal - Mourinho|
|Seven arrests made after West Ham - Chelsea fan clashes|
|Florenzi injury blow for Roma|
|MLS Review: Galaxy, Toronto into semis|
|Beister: Victory move surprised people|
|Bilic: Cup run will help in Premier League|
|Pjaca out for up to three weeks|
|Trophies still the focus for Guardiola|
|Mignolet wants ´fair´ Karius battle|
|Ancelotti impressed by motivated Bayern|
|West Ham ´unreservedly condemn´ crowd trouble|
|Allegri praises strike duo after win over Sampdoria|
|De Boer praises two-goal Icardi after vital win|
|Chelsea were ´unlucky´ with missed chances, insists Conte|
|Mourinho: I´ve never had fans like these|
|Nacho´s goal better than my Champions League final volley - Zidane|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Union Berlin 1 (aet, 3-0 pens): Weidenfeller shootout heroics seal progress|
|Bilic: Crowd trouble distracts from great West Ham win|
|Kompany told me he couldn´t play anymore - Guardiola|
|Liverpool and Manchester United handed home quarter-finals|
|Inter 2 Torino 1: Icardi double alleviates pressure on De Boer|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 0: Mata extends Guardiola´s winless run|
|West Ham 2 Chelsea 1: Crowd trouble tarnishes Hammers´ route to quarter-finals|
|Cultural Leonesa 1 Real Madrid 7: Morata and Asensio star in BBC´s absence|
|Bayern Munich 3 Augsburg 1: Green´s first goal sends holders through|
|Juventus 4 Sampdoria 1: Rapid start sets champions on their way|
|Crafty Suarez is world´s best striker - Godin|
|Mancini: Balotelli has wasted years but can bounce back|
|Rami rejected ´risky´ PSG move|
|Neymar would have cost PSG €430m, claims father|
|Sacchi warns Bayern players over Ancelotti temper|
|Valencia ´pleased´ with RFEF bottle ruling|
|Mourinho apologises to Utd fans for Chelsea thrashing|
|Barcelona lash out at ´totally reprehensible´ RFEF comments|
|Jacob leaves Marseille amid rumours of Zubizarreta appointment|
|Lavezzi added to Argentina squad as Dybala drops out|
|Del Bosque: Mourinho had a point on Conte|
|N´Zonzi in talks over Sevilla extension|
|Allardyce successor ´will not be a mercenary´ - Glenn|
|Aubameyang like a rocket, Lewandowski perfect - Riedle|
|RFEF fines Valencia, warns Barca over bottle incident|
|Wenger tells Iwobi to improve his finishing|
|Barcelona without Mathieu for three weeks|
|Kimmich draws inspiration from Xavi|
|Vazquez signs new Madrid deal|
|Higuain the best striker in the world - Nedved|
|Wolfsburg regret De Bruyne, Perisic sales|
|Parejo slams Neymar for ´inciting´ Valencia fans|
|Gundogan predicts ´very lively´ Manchester derby|
|Luis Enrique satisfied with Supercopa workout|
|Messi could join Newell´s after World Cup - Maxi Rodriguez|
|Ibrahimovic wants United to be the boss of City|
|Schmidt on the bus as Lotte book ticket for next round|
|Pogba still adapting to Premier League, says Mourinho|
|Southgate hails influence of demoted Rooney|
|Lille ready to heap more pressure on PSG as Corchia dreams big|
|I´m among top 20 LaLiga coaches, jokes Luis Enrique|
|Brattan earns Socceroos call-up|
|Pochettino pleased with Janssen|
|Klopp never questioned Sturridge quality|
|Barcelona downed by Espanyol in Supercopa|
|Heavy Milan defeat ´just a bump in the road´ - Montella|
|Pochettino wanted Liverpool debutant sent off|
|Klopp happy to entertain as Liverpool youngsters earn their spurs|
|Leverkusen dumped out by 10-man minnows|