'I don't have a team' - The cutting words issued by Jose Mourinho after their latest defeat on Saturday night.
His message could not have been starker, he felt his players were letting him down and may even have blown their chances of retaining their title.
For as they slipped to their third La Liga defeat in succession, rivals Barcelona were extending their lead at the top of the table, with a 100 per cent record this season no less.
After four games Barcelona sit on 12 points, and Real Madrid languish in 11th on just four points.
So what has gone wrong for them? After their Spanish Super Cup win over Barcelona, all was looking relatively rosy for Madrid, but a surprise loss to Getafe followed in La Liga where they cruised through almost expecting to win, and they didn't.
That surprise loss triggered some searching questions in the squad, and not even the arrival of Luka Modric has been able to change their fortunes.
The biggest problem facing Real Madrid right now is the uncertainty over their star player Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward stunned everybody after their sole La Liga win over Granada by telling the world he is currently unhappy at the club.
Much speculation has been attended to Ronaldo's situation, why is he unhappy? Is it money, is it a longing for a return to Manchester. is there a problem between him and the other members of the squad?
Whichever the case, it appears no closer to being resolved, and with Madrid losing both their games since then it is becoming imperative they get it sorted as quickly as possible.
Being eight points down on Barcelona at this early stage could already be seen as highly damaging to their title chances, and they cannot afford the gap to grow into a chasm.
Mourinho in his post-match comments following the 1-0 defeat to Sevilla is demanding a reaction. But stepping up against Manchester City will not be easy. Another home defeat will not go down well with the fans, the manager and the players know it. So the converse view is it could work against City to play them now, but form is important.
City will be focused and determined themselves to prove a point after falling narrowly short in the Champions League last season, and keen to make it count this time around.
Madrid would have liked to come into the game with some semblance of form, but instead they enter competition out on their feet, and a win for the Spaniards may even go down as a surprise.
What do you think of Madrid's early season form and the reasons behind it?
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