Real Madrid head into their Champions League encounter with Tottenham Hotspur having won four of their last five games in all competitions, but boss Zinedine Zidane knows that his team need to improve the level of their performances over the coming months.
Spurs make the trip to the Bernabeu having come through their last nine matches without suffering a defeat, and Mauricio Pochettino's side can make a statement to the rest of Europe if they can gain a result away at the defending champions.
With Barcelona holding a five-point advantage over Real Madrid in La Liga, there is genuine cause for concern at the Bernabeu with their star-studded squad failing to replicate the form which led to them claiming the top-flight title and Champions League last season.
However, Zidane and co have to take the positives from securing a late 2-1 victory away at Getafe at the weekend, and it is a result which can act as the springboard for greater things to come throughout the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo is still getting up to speed after missing a number of games through suspension, but six goals in as many games suggests that the Portuguese superstar is ready to go on a free-scoring run during the winter.
There is already pressure on Marco Asensio to start delivering in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale, but one of the world's hottest prospects cannot do it all on his own and Karim Benzema must improve on his return of two goals from seven matches.
At the back, just two clean sheets have been recorded in the last nine fixtures, although you have to go back as far as August 27 for the last time that Real conceded more than one goal in a game.
A showdown with Spurs would not normally be considered a season-changing clash but given how the English side are performing on the road and the fact that they are level with Tuesday's opponents in Group H, any kind of win for Real would tell the rest of Europe that their recent form is temporary and that their class remains permanent.
Recent form: WW
Recent form (all competitions): WLWWWW
Saturday's 1-0 win over Bournemouth showed that Wembley Stadium is still continuing to act as a hindrance to Spurs, but it has been a different story when they have played on the road.
Spurs have won each of their five games away from North London, with 15 goals and just two goals being conceded, and Pochettino should be excited - rather than fearful - of a trip to the home of the Spanish giants.
Real will be favourites to emerge victorious but for the first time this season, they will have to contend with a striker in Harry Kane who will reportedly eventually attract a big-money transfer bid from Los Blancos.
Kane failed to score at the weekend, but the 24-year-old has netted nine times in four away matches and the England international's record will ensure that the likes of Sergio Ramos and Nacho do not lose their concentration.
Dele Alli is a big miss as he serves the last game of his European ban, but Christian Eriksen will worry Real in the same way that the North Londoners will have to keep an eye on Luka Modric - should he play - who enjoyed four excellent years at White Hart Lane between 2008 and 2012.
Pochettino will be eager to see how Davinson Sanchez handles the occasion of going up against the world's best player, but the Colombian is no stranger to playing on the big stage in Europe having helped Ajax to the Europa League final last season.
Recent form: WW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWWW
Zidane will be unable to call upon former Spurs attacker Bale, who continues to receive treatment for the injury which kept him out of international duty with Wales.
Pochettino will hope to have Ben Davies back in contention after the left wing-back was sidelined at the weekend through illness.
The Welshman's inclusion would allow Son Heung-min to be used further forward as a direct replacement for the suspended Alli.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Isco, Asensio, Ronaldo
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Davies; Eriksen, Son, Kane
Head To Head
Tuesday's game will represent just the fifth time in which these two teams have met in a competitive fixture, and Spurs are yet to record a single win or goal.
The North Londoners registered a goalless draw at the Bernabeu in 1985 but that is as good as it has got, with Real dominating the Champions League quarter-final tie between the clubs in April 2011.
Real followed a 4-0 win in Spain with a 1-0 triumph at White Hart Lane, with Spurs old boy Emmanuel Adebayor among the scorers.
We say: Real Madrid 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs have been terrific away from home this season, but we cannot back against Real in front of their home supporters who are demanding an improved run of results from their team. Do not be surprised to see Spurs get on the scoresheet at the Bernabeu, but their backline will face their stiffest test of the season so far.