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.
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
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
- 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.
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
Espanyol win: 25