Real Madrid have a chance to go top of the league by two points in Catalonia when they face off against Espanyol on Sunday.
With Barcelona drawing and dropping points to Celta already, Real can capitalize and take back the top position in the standings.
Real hold a perfect record since returning to league action. Espanyol are at the bottom of the league and are in danger of being relegated to the Segunda División for next season. Real defeated Espanyol 2-0 when they met at the Bernabéu back in December.
This is a crucial match for Real Madrid as they can and must capitalize on Barcelona’s draw if they want to secure any sort of lead in the league standings. Real will have to do it on the road, but they’ve been playing very well since returning to play.
Real Madrid remain without Lucas Vazquez, Nacho, and Luka Jovic due to injury. Both Ferland Mendy and Luka Modric are suspended after picking up yellows in the last match. Casemiro is back after serving his own suspension.
Espanyol will be without right back Sébastian Corchia.
López; Pipa, López, Cabrera, Dídac; Melendo, Sánchez, Roca, Embarba; Wu Lei, Calleri
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Isco, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema
With Mendy suspended, naturally Marcelo will return to starting for this match. It’s a bit more unpredictable, as Zidane has been, who will start in place of Modric. Valverde is a fine choice, but Zidane may give a surprise start to Isco.
The right wing remains a question. Zidane went with a 4-3-2-1 formation against Mallorca, where Vinicius scored a wonderful goal. He could retry that, but perhaps it is time to start Marco Asensio on the right side and show what he can do after recovery.
Espanyol—Real Madrid 0-3
Real Madrid have been a force since coming back from the long break. This is arguably their most important match as they can jump ahead of Barcelona by two points with a win. A draw would obviously put the clubs tied on points.
It’s important for Real to get a win as they need all three points to give them some distance, which has been a problem in the past in situations like this. It will mean even ore if they can do it on the road at the Cornellà-El Prat.
This is another match Real cannot take lightly, Espanyol will give them a tough time as they are battling to get out of the bottom spot in the league. They will need to turn things around quick as it would take 8 points for them to get out of the relegation zone.
This is a big matchday for Real that will hopefully see the results in their favor. They will have to put forth their best to get the three points if they hope to go top of the league. This is perhaps the biggest match for them since the season’s resumption. No pressure.