Real Sociedad sat proudly in third on Christmas Day, but will they still be there when it really counts at the end of May?
Los Txuri-Urdin have won six of their last nine La Liga outings, most recently defeating Sevilla just before the World Cup hiatus.
Alexander Sørloth and Brais Méndez on target against nine-men at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
La Real haven’t qualified for the Champions League since 2013, last ending a campaign third or higher two decades ago.
Imanol Alguacil’s team are dreaming of changing both of those statistics.
As for Basque-rivals Osasuna, they went into the break all the way up in seventh, just three points below their hosts.
Los Rojillos were beaten 2-1 by Barcelona at El Sadar last time out, but this ended their four-game unbeaten streak.
Since La Liga went into hibernation, both clubs have reached the Copa del Rey third round.
Jagoba Arrasate’s team have swatted aside Fuentes and then Arnedo 4-1 and then 3-1.
La Real meanwhile demolished Cazalegas 4-1 last month before hammering Coria 5-0 just before Chrstimas.
As league action returns for both, who will prevail at Reale Arena?