Alejandro Dominguez has identified Friday's meeting with Osasuna as a critical fixture if Rayo Vallecano are to secure Europa League qualification.
Rayo currently sit eighth in the Primera Division table, five points behind sixth-placed Malaga, who occupy the final European spot.
But Vallecano have endured a dip in form in recent weeks, winning just one of their last five fixtures, and Argentinian midfielder Dominguez knows they must pick up three points if they are to keep themselves firmly in the hunt.
He told a press conference: ``We know this is a key game to get the three points and keep well in the fight for the opportunity to enter Europe.
``We are looking forward to it and the team are eager to get out on the field.
``Our goal is clear and we are convinced we can achieve it, but we know we will have to have great intensity and think before getting the ball because Osasuna will press us a lot and we have to approach the game in the right way.''
But Paco Jemez's side will have to cope without striker Leo Baptistao, who suffered a broken collarbone in the draw with Mallorca.
``For us it is a significant loss,'' said Dominguez.
``We have players who can do a great job instead but it is ugly to suffer such an injury.
``He has our full support and hopefully he will recover soon.''
Osasuna sit 15th in the standings, but are far from safe lying just four points above the relegation zone.
Centre-back Alejandro Arribas is wishing former club Rayo well in their bid for Europe, but hopes to secure valuable points for Osasuna.
``It's very special to face my old team, but we need the three points,'' he said.
``Throughout the week I have been enjoying a joke with the people I know there about how well they have done, but the fact is that they are aiming for Europe and I hope they succeed, but only after our game.``