At four o'clock on Monday morning - five hours after being thrashed 3-0 by Sevilla - the Valencia board sacked coach Quique Sanchez Flores, whose team have crashed down to fourth in recent weeks.
His immediate replacement, on a caretaker basis, will be third- division nursery team coach Oscar Fernandez, a man with no first division experience.
Valencia president Juan Soler last week met one of the representatives of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
But it is the little-known Fernandez who, for the time being, will have to pick up the pieces and fire up a demoralised squad.
He will be hoping that star striker David Villa will have recovered from his ankle problems by Wednesday, since he is the only Valencia forward not firing blanks right now.
Villa missed last season's Valencia-Real clash through injury, and the "madridistas" took advantage to win 1-0.
Fernandez will have to decide whether to bring back veteran keeper Santiago Canizares - who has really been showing his age recently - or stick with Timo Hildebrand, who looked sluggish in Seville.
Real are on top of "La Liga" with 22 points from nine games, two points more than Barcelona, and four more than Villarreal and Valencia.
Real coach Bernd Schuster is hoping to have Gabriel Heinze and Mahamadou Diarra fit by Wednesday.
Wednesday's other big game sees fifth-placed Atletico Madrid at home to resurgent Sevilla.
Atleti coach Javier Aguirre will again put his faith in South American strikers Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero, neither of whom can stop scoring right now.
New Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez made a dream start against Valencia on Sunday, in a match which suggests that there is life for Sevilla after Juande Ramos, who has jumped ship to Tottenham.
Also on Wednesday, Villarreal are at home to a Levante side still bottom - and still waiting for Gianni De Biasi to shake them up.
Wednesday's other games are as follows: Almeria-Zaragoza, Betis- Osasuna, Deportivo Coruna-Mallorca, Getafe-Athletic Bilbao, Recreativo Huelva-Racing Santander and Espanyol-Murcia.
The tenth round of matches finishes on Wednesday with an interesting clash between struggling Valladolid and Barcelona.
Valladolid are third from bottom, but nonetheless extended the contract of coach Jose Luis Mendilibar last week, in an unprecedented show of loyalty.
Barca will be hoping that Real lose in Valencia, giving them the chance to go top on Thursday.
Gianluca Zambrotta, Rafa Marquez and Yaya Toure all returned to action in Sunday's streaky 2-0 home win over Almeria, which means that the only injury absentees now are Deco and Samuel Eto'o.