Real Madrid are the Champions of Spain, but when you take a look at the La Liga table, you might be inclined to think otherwise. Jose Mourinho's men have had a disastrous domestic campaign and the defence of their title is all over months in advance. They have already been defeated five times this season and the 16 point gap between themselves and Barcelona tells you they haven't quite been playing their best football this season.
To make matters worse, rivals Atletico Madrid are 4 points ahead of them in second place. By mid-January that gap was 7 points, which was Atletico's biggest lead over Real after 19 games since 1995/96.
Real have hardly been much better in Europe this season, either. They were pitted in the so called "Group of Death" alongside German Champions Borussia Dortmund, Dutch Champions Ajax and English Champions Manchester City and while that is admittedly a tough group, considering how imperious Spain have been on the footballing scene over the last decade, you'd have expected Madrid to come through that group with flying colours, yet they finished runners up to Dortmund.
Contrastingly, United won their group.
Perhaps now is the best time for the Red Devils to face Real; while Madrid are clearly not at their best, United on the other hand are firing on all cylinders.