In the not-so-distant past, a La Liga clash between Valencia and Atletico Madrid would have been considered a mouth-watering encounter between two titans of the Spanish game. This season, Javi Gracia's side will primarily be looking to come away from the capital with their dignity intact.
League-leaders Atletico, who have only been bested by eternal rivals Real Madrid in the league this season, will come into this tie eyeing up their seventh league win on the bounce as they chase their first La Liga title since 2014.
On paper, it has been smooth sailing for Atleti in the league this season. Fourteen wins, one defeat, 33 goals scored and seven goals conceded makes for fine reading.
However, in typical Atleti fashion, Diego Simeone's men have made life hard for themselves. Largely due to the team's commitment to defensive solidity, Atleti have occasionally struggled to kill games off, often winning matches by just a single goal.
Still, this is what fans of the game have come to expect from Simeone and, clearly, this is the style that the Argentine feels is most effective.
Against Eibar earlier this week, Simeone's side were forced to come back from an early goal scored by Los Armeros goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
In a show of resilience and graft, the goals eventually came for Atleti, with Luis Suarez bagging a brace before the end of the 90 minutes.
Coming into this tie, Simeone will be quietly confident of securing the points, considering Atleti have not lost to Valencia in any of their last five league encounters.
In comparison to Atleti's season, Valencia's own campaign has been consistently miserable, with the team currently languishing in 14th place and surrounded by outfits that once dreaded playing them.
It is a testament to how difficult this season has been for Los Che that Gracia will likely be rather pleased that his side has not yet been beaten in 2021.
Of course, the New Year has also only afforded them five points so far so it would be wrong to claim that normal service has resumed.
Coming into this tie, Gracia will likely be targeting a point, which is not an unrealistic goal considering that Atleti tend to maintain narrow leads.
There is a sense, undoubtedly shared by all Valencia fans, that one of these days Gracia's side will suddenly click and get back to winning ways. However, that would be a tall order against Spain's best side.
Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WWWLWW
Valencia La Liga form: DLLDWD
Valencia form (all competitions): LDWWWD
The big news for Atleti is that Kieran Trippier's suspension has been sustained, meaning the England international will be out for eight games.
As for Valencia, aside from the injured Jasper Cillessen, Gracia has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Gimenez; Vrsaljko, Koke, Lemar, Llorente, Carrasco; Correa, Suarez
Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Diakhaby, Gabriel, Gaya; Cheryshev, Soler, Racic, Guedes; Gomez, Gameiro
We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Valencia
There is a real sense that we are witnessing peak Simeone at the moment. The manager has Atleti working like a well-oiled machine and we cannot see Valencia throwing a spanner in the works. We are going for 2-0 with goals from Suarez and Marcos Llorente.