Estadi Cornella-El Prat
17th May, 2015; 17:00 GMT
Real Madrid visit Espanyol as the season comes to an climactic end for the Los Blancos. Having lost the Champions League battle to Juventus earlier, Madrid still have a chance of winning the Spanish La Liga as Barcelona gear up for a tough fixture against Atletico Madrid.
Espanyol look to face a Real Madrid side that is eager to get back to their winning ways. Having not won a single game in their last three outings, Real Madrid are expected to thoroughly test Espanyol who are looking to consolidate their position on the la liga table.
Sitting on the 9th spot with 49 points, Espanyol cannot qualify for Europa League next season but manager Sergio Soriano will be keen to dent Real Madrida s title hopes as Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid looking to seal their hold on the La Liga title.
Having lost 2-0 to Barcelona last month, Espanyol have staged a good comeback after earning three points each against Eibar and Granada while managing to earn a point against Rayo earlier this month. Jose Canas returns to the team after serving his suspension and is expected to join Abraham and Victor Sanchez in the midfield. They will be burdened with the responsibility to prevent Carlo Ancelottia s side from dominating the possession and dictating the pace of the game. Moreno, Arbilla, Gonzalez and Duarte are likely to start in the defence with Garcia, Stuani and Caicedo leading the teama s attack.
Expected Starting Eleven: Casilla (GK); Moreno, Arbilla, Gonzalez, Duarte; Canas, Abraham, Victor Sanchez; Garcia, Stuani, Caicedo
Sergio Ramos Is Likely To Be Out For The Rest Of the Season
Having been kicked out of the Champions League by Juventus, Real Madrid can only hope for Barcelona to slip up against Atletico Madrid in the title race as they look to make up a 4 point gap between themselves and the Catalans. With the squad alleged to be in a a crisisa , Carlo Ancelotti will be desperate for a win as his job hangs by the threat at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid face a list of crucial absentees with Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos unlikely to feature in the game due to injury. While Pepe will replace Ramos in the defence, Arbeloa, Coentrao or Nacho could be given a start ahead of Marcelo and Carvajal in the defence. BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo) are expected to lead the teama s attack with Illarramendi, Isco and James Rodriguez playing in the midfield.
Despite having almost the title race, Madrid will be keen to keep their foot on the pedal as Barcelona line up against a strong Atletico Madrid side. Having failed to win any trophies this season, changes are due at Santiago Bernabeu as the players will like to make a strong case for themselves in the remaining two domestic fixtures.
Expected Starting Eleven: Navas (GK); Pepe, Varane, Coentrao, Carvajal; Illarramendi, Rodriguez, Isco; Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo
Is It A Little Too Late For Ronaldo To Weave His Magic?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are the players to watch out for as Espanyol host Real Madrid. The duo have failed to live up to the expectations this season with the club likely to finish another trophy-less season. Bale has come under the scanner for his recent performances and the Welshman will be keen to finish the season on a high. Ronaldo on the other hand is running for the highest-goal scorer trophy and will be hoping to beat Lionel Messi to it be putting in a few goals in the remaining two fixtures.
Espanyol 1-2 Real Madrid
Expect a hard fought match with Real Madrid narrowly emerging as the winners. Looking to get back to their winning ways, Madrid will fight for the three crucial points on offer as they hope to keep their title hopes alive.
Blast From the Past