Rayo Vallecano will be hoping for a repeat of the performance and result they produced against Elche on the first day of the season when they head to the Martinez Valero Stadium to face Fran Escriba's side for a second time.
Rayo eased to a 3-0 home win that day in Vallecas, but only took a further 13 points from their next 18 games and head to Elche two points behind their opponents, second bottom of the Primera Division table.
Although Rayo began 2014 with a 5-2 defeat at home to Villarreal, things have now picked up for the Madrid side. They have conceded just one goal in their three games since the defeat and pulled off a vital 1-0 win away to Getafe last weekend.
"This game is an important one, above all because we want to continue with this positive momentum and keep improving, and make sure that the win [over Getafe] was no fluke," Rayo coach Paco Jemez said.
"But above all, it's important because of who we are playing, and it's a chance to overtake them.
Rayo have far and away the worst defence in the league, but Jemez has been encouraged by the improvement in the last three matches and admits that the re-emergence of Raul Baena in defensive midfield has been crucial.
"Before we played with three midfielders, all of whom got forward a lot, and now that Raul has come in we have more balance," Jemez said.
"But apart from that, the team was well aware that we couldn't go on conceding so many goals.
"We've conceded few goals in the last few games, but we need to profit from our defensive solidity and keep it up against every team, including the big clubs."
Lass Bangoura has returned from an ankle injury to make the squad for the trip, but Joaquin Larrivey, Ze Castro, Johan Mojica, Christian Cueva and Leonel Galeano all miss out.
Elche have improved since their first game in the top flight, but have taken just one point from their last five league games and their bad luck continued last weekend as they conceded a last-minute equaliser to draw with Sevilla.
Jemez added: "The Elche we played in that first game are not the same team they are now and we aren't the same Rayo either, teams change.
"They appeared to be in a comfortable situation, but now they're in trouble. If we beat them we will pass a lot of the pressure on to them and that's our aim."