Madrid have slipped eight points behind pacesetters Barca after suffering a surprisingly poor start to the defence of their title, which has included defeats to Getafe and Sevilla and a home draw with Valencia.
However, Jose Mourinho's men have shown they may finally be awakening from their slumber over the last week after following up their Champions League fightback win over Manchester City with a derby triumph over Rayo Vallecano on Monday.
Then on Wednesday, Madrid thrashed Colombian side Millonarios 8-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy, setting them up perfectly for an important week which starts with Sunday's visit of Depor, continues with a midweek trip to Ajax and then culminates with next Sunday's El Clasico showdown with Barca at the Nou Camp.
Further cause for optimism among Madrid fans is the team's home record against Depor over the last few years.
In the last six meetings between the two at the Bernabeu, Madrid have been victorious in each and scored 20 goals in the process.
Depor striker Riki, a former Madrid youth team player, is under no illusions how tough it is likely to be for his side on Sunday, but is nevertheless hoping they can still cause their opponents some problems.
"Every point they drop is going to be an opportunity less to close on Barcelona. We know that we need to play at 120% to get something there, as they have some of the best players in the world," Riki said.
"Everybody knows about Madrid. They haven't had the start they expected and we need to try and hurt them, but they have some great players up front and we need to be very focused. We're going there with the intention of picking something up."
Riki also doubts Madrid's attention will be swayed by their upcoming trip to Amsterdam.
He added: "I don't think they are going to be distracted by the Champions League. Their coach is very ambitious and I don't think that will be the case. I hope so, but I don't think so," he said.
Depor coach Jose Luis Oltra, whose side slumped to their first defeat of the season on Monday after losing 2-0 at home to Sevilla, added in AS: "Going to the Bernabeu is always a challenge. Madrid haven't lost in 18 matches at home and Mourinho teams are always very strong at home.
"Of course it's not the best place to go to bounce back after a defeat, but we're going to fight for the victory."