Season-defining week for Real Madrid

Season-defining week for Real Madrid

This is it, Madridistas!

Barcelona, Barcelona, Ajax.

Copa del Rey, LaLiga, Champions League.

The next seven days will make or break Real Madrid's season. After what started as a disaster could end up an unlikely success should Los Blancos record three straight wins between next and next Tuesday night.

Victory, or a goalless draw owing to the away goal rule, over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday night would set up a final date with either Valencia or Real Betis and a real chance for Los Blancos to end their Copa del Rey trophy drought.

That potential Clásico victory could also lay the foundations for a second victory over Barça in the space of four days when Ernesto Valverde brings his side back to the Spanish capital on Saturday night. Barça seem to be cruising domestically but three points Madrid would at least keep the pressure on the Camp Nou club. Strange things have happened.

Then, next Tuesday night, Madrid will look to complete the job when Ajax visit the Spanish capital for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash. Los Blancos hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Amsterdam and will be favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

Los Blancos have a long way to come from their last home match, a 1-2 defeat against Getafe, and indeed a disappointing performance despite the 1-2 win at Levante at the weekend, if they are to kick-off the crucial three-match spell in winning style, however.

Captain Sergio Ramos will at least be back in the starting XI after serving a one-match ban at Levante. There is a doubt over Gareth Bale, however, with the Spanish Football Federation yet to decide if the Welshman should be hit with a ban for a gesture following his goal in the 1-3 victory over Atletico Madrid.

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