Real Madrid will take on Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday and will be looking to secure an away victory this weekend.

Real Madrid come into this game on the back of a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo, and the La Liga champions will be full of confidence here. Karim Benzema has looked in good touch, and Real Madrid will be expected to pick up a comprehensive win on their travels.

Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior, Federico Valverde and Karim Benzema were all on the scoresheet last time out, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be eyeing another goal-fest.

Meanwhile, Espanyol are coming into this game on the back of a defeat, and they will be under pressure to bounce back strongly. The hosts will be expected to put up a proper fight in front of their own fans, and it remains to be seen whether the players can stand up and deliver.

Espanyol were beaten 2-0 by Rayo Vallecano in their last game. Furthermore, they had Sergi Gomez sent off as well. The home side are winless in the league so far, and they will need to improve a lot in order to grind out a result against the defending champions.

As for Real Madrid, they have picked up two wins from two league matches, and they will be confident of extending their 100 per cent win rate in the league this weekend. Carlo Ancelotti will demand a proper title defence this season, and Los Blancos cannot afford to drop points against teams like Espanyol.

Team News & Tactics

Espanyol

The home side have a number of absentees for this game. Former Real Madrid player Raul de Tomas, left-back Adria Pedrosa and midfielder Pol Lozano are ruled out with injuries. Centre-back Sergi Gomez is suspended and will miss out as well.

Espanyol are likely to proceed with a partnership of Fernando Calero and Leandro Cabrera at the heart of their defence, with Oscar Gil and Brian Olivan as the full-backs.

Edu Exposito, Vinicius Souza and Sergi Darder are likely to be chosen as the midfield trio, and Joselu will spearhead the attack for the home side against Real Madrid, along with Nico Melamed and Keidi Bare.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lecomte; Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Olivan; Darder, Exposito, Souza; Bare, Joselu, Melamed

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Real Madrid

Real Madrid have no notable injury concerns, and it remains to be seen how Carlo Ancelotti sets up his side for this game. Toni Kroos and Rodrygo Goes were doubtful with knocks, but they are set to return. It is fair to assume that summer signing Aurelien Tchouameni will partner Kroos, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric in the middle.

At the back, Real Madrid should be able to field their usual back four of Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. will lead the line for the visitors, with the two attackers also getting support from Federico Valverde.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Kroos, Tchouameni; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

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Key Stats

  • Real Madrid have won 16 of their last 18 matches against Espanyol in all competitions.
  • Real Madrid have kept a clean sheet in nine of their last 12 matches against Espanyol in all competitions.
  • Espanyol have failed to win their last nine matches in La Liga.
  • Espanyol are unbeaten in just five of their last 29 meetings against Real Madrid.
  • Real Madrid have conceded at least once in each of their last seven away games in La Liga.

Player to Watch

Karim Benzema

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The Frenchman has been exceptional since the start of last season and he has started this campaign in a rich vein of form.

Benzema has scored twice and picked up an assist in his last three competitive games for Los Blancos and the 34-year-old is our man to watch out for. He will look to take advantage of Espanyol’s defensive issues and punish them accordingly.

Prediction

Espanyol 1-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid are a much better side compared to Espanyol, and they will be the favourites to pick up all three points. Los Blancos have won 24 of their last 29 meetings against Espanyol, and the hosts will need a bit of luck to get something out of this contest. However, Real Madrid have been leaky at the back on their travels, so Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba will have to be vigilant.

Espanyol will look to salvage some pride after their disappointing showing against Rayo Vallecano. That said, the visitors should have too much quality for the hosts to handle, and a comfortable Real Madrid win is definitely on the cards here.

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