Real Sociedad could well be playing Real Madrid at the ideal moment, according to midfielder Sergio Canales.
Rafael Benitez's side thrashed Rayo Vallecano 10-2 in their last Liga outing on December 20, but speculation over the coach's future continues to mount, with some weekend reports in Spain suggesting Zinedine Zidane has already been approved as his imminent successor.
And with Sociedad visiting the Santiago Bernabeu just five days after Christmas, Canales - who made 15 appearances for Madrid - believes the timing of the encounter could not be better.
"It's one of those games you mark in red on the calendar, because it's one of the most difficult, away from home and at the Bernabeu, but given that it's after the Christmas holidays it could be a good moment to go there," he said, as quoted by AS.
"We have to take advantage of the chances we have, go there with the mentality we always have - to look for the win - and we'll see what we can get."
Canales insists that neither speculation over Benitez's future, nor thoughts of Madrid's fearsome attacking display against Rayo, will impact their approach to the game.
"We know what Madrid are, these things are talked about every year. But I don't think it's anything in our favour," added the 24-year-old.
"We know they're coming off that win against Rayo but we also know that was a bit of a strange game, and it doesn't make us more afraid to go to the Bernabeu.
"We need the points and we have to go out with the mentality of trying to win."