Real Madrid head to Deportivo La Coruna this weekend as Zinedine Zidane takes charge of his second full season at Los Vikingos, having already won back-to-back Champions League titles and La Liga last term.
The league's opening weekend will also provide a chance for La Coruna to cause an upset on home soil, as Pepe Mel's men aim to build on their relegation escape at the back-end of the 2016-17 campaign.
Deportivo La Coruna
Mel's charges come into the new campaign aiming to put some distances between themselves and what has been a testing few years for the Galicia-based club.
La Coruna were able to fend off relegation from the Spanish top-flight last season, having finished in 16th place in the league standings.
Following a string of troubling showings during the middle of the 2016-17 term, Deportivo were able to showcase the necessary fight towards the end of the campaign, as they produced positive results against the likes of Barcelona, Malaga and Las Palmas in order to push towards safety.
Mel will have his work cut out this season, though, given that the club have been rather quiet in the current transfer window, while frontman Joselu has now left following the conclusion of his loan. The club have done one promising piece of business, however, following the acquisition of centre-back Fabian Schar from Hoffenheim.
One further option that might please Deportivo fans is the possible return of Lucas Perez, although no deal has been reached with Arsenal for the frontman, who could potentially prove vital should La Coruna want to retain their La Liga status come the end of next spring.
Last season's league form: WDLDLW
The new La Liga season arrives with Madrid finding themselves in much of the same fluent form in which Zidane's charges finished last term. Since the club's memorable Champions League win over Juventus, Real have gone on to claim both the UEFA Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana with consummate ease.
Madrid's return to dominance in Spain has come partly as a result of Zidane's stewardship, and the French coach now enters only his second full season in charge having already won two Champions League titles in a row, as well as leading the club to La Liga glory just a couple of months ago.
Much of Zidane's success has been built on a trusting relationship with his players, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, and that partnership with his charges has seen the Frenchman assemble a squad that now includes a number of experienced veterans alongside a crop of youngsters who are playing with enough confidence to shine.
The summer departures of both Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez might have caused issues for other coaches, although Zidane has already shown enough faith in the likes of Marco Asensio and Casemiro to suggest that Real have the necessary talent within their own ranks without having to dip too much into the summer market.
Madrid make the trip to Deportivo with the confidence of nine away wins on the bounce in the league, while also knowing that their past nine fixtures against Deportivo have all ended in victories.
The obvious challenge for Zidane heading into La Liga's opening weekend will be the one facing Ronaldo, who will be serving the start of his five-match ban after pushing an official during the club's recent first-leg win over Barcelona in the Supercopa.
Last season's league form: WWWWWW
For the hosts, Schar should make his La Liga debut at the back following his move from the Bundesliga during the summer.
Deportivo La Coruna possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Luisinho, Sidnei, Schar, Juanfran; Mosquera, Guilherme, Borges; Bakkali, Andone, Cartabia
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Marcelo, Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Bale
Head To Head
Madrid have a favourable history when coming up against Deportivo, having won all nine of their last fixtures across all competitions. In those nine fixtures, Madrid have also scored at least two goals per game.
We say: Deportivo La Coruna 0-3 Real Madrid
Zidane's charges will be hoping to open their campaign in style when they make the trip to Galicia. History shows that Real hold the upper hand in this fixture, and the club's recent displays against both Manchester United and Barcelona suggest that Deportivo will find things difficult come the weekend. The hosts have made an important signing in the shape of Schar in defence, although the club are not likely to have done enough in the transfer market to provide much of a test for Los Blancos.