Real Madrid host 13th placed Espanyol as they look to close the gap with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

Zidane’s new-look Real Madrid dropped points against Real Betis last week and will therefore be keen on earning three points at Santiago Bernabeu.

Probable Lineups

Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos is expected to make a return to the starting eleven and will partner Raphael Varane in the defence. Gareth Bale remains unavailable due to a calf injury, with James Rodriguez expected to replace him in the starting eleven.

Probable Starting Eleven: Navas (GK); Marcelo, Varane, Ramos, Carvajal; Modric, Kroos, James, Isco, Ronaldo; Benzema

football formations

Espanyol

Espanyol will be without Marco Asensio and Burgui who will be ineligible to play against their parent club. Meanwhile, Espanyol’s leading goal-scorer Felipe Caicedo will also miss the fixture due to injury concerns along with Arbilla. Victor Alvarez and Gerard Moreno remain suspended for the tie.

Probably Starting Eleven: Pau Lopez (GK); Gonzalez, Roco, Rubin Duarte, Javi Lopez; Diop, Sanchez, Perez (RW), SAlva Sevilla, Joan Jordan; Sylla

Key Facts

  • Real Madrid haven’t lost a single game against Espanyol in their last 16 fixtures.
  • Espanyol have won only once in their last 9 league fixtures.
  • Real Madrid have scored 17 goals in their last 5 games against Espanyol.
  • Only 3 other teams have conceded more goals in Spain than Espanyol this season.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-1 Espanyol

Real Madrid should be able to register a convincing win as Espanyol suffer from a series of crucial injuries and suspensions. The visitors will be low on confidence with Real Madrid keen on making a strong impression after dropping points last week.

Betting odds (888sport)

Real Madrid win: 1/10

Draw: 10

Espanyol win: 25

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