The focus for Real Madrid has shifted to the upcoming European Super Cup clash after they returned home on Thursday following the completion of their North American pre-season tour.
Zinedine Zidane's side finished their travels with a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich after also beating Chelsea 3-2, although they lost their opener against Paris Saint-Germain 3-1.
After three non-competitive games, it is straight into the deep end once again. Their Super Cup opponents Sevilla have played three matches more in getting ready.
The friendly with Bayern marked the first opportunity for players like James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos to return after extended breaks.
Zidane now finds himself having to find stability between the players that have not featured much and playing a side that will be fit and superior enough to lift the trophy.
The Frenchman has tried both a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 system to accommodate not having a full squad. Alvaro Morata started two games with a strike partner, though Jese and Mariano Diaz appears close to leaving the club.
With Karim Benzema yet to play a single minute, it looks like Zidane will be forced into using one man up top — and when left-back Marcelo is scoring three more than your central striker it is not an encouraging sign.
Casemiro should find himself protecting the defence with Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic in midfield after impressing. One of either James Rodriguez and Isco will provide a link, with both evidently needing a boost of confidence and fitness.
But there is no question over who the breakthrough star for Zidane’s side has been so far. Marco Asensio has picked up a significant amount of game time and looks set for a richly deserved chance in the Super Cup starting XI.
The 20-year-old was expected to go out on loan after excelling at Espanyol last season, but the manager was so impressed that he wants to keep Asensio to provide crucial back up.
No Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Pepe, Benzema for the trip to Trondheim — Jorge Sampaoli will see this as a huge opportunity to delight the Sevilla fans at the first of asking.
Though major silverware it may not be, Zidane needs to strike the perfect balance on Tuesday night if he wants his team to live up to the continuous expectation and get off to a good start in his first full season as boss.