Real Madrid vs Espanyol preview, predicted XI, team news and more | La Liga 2019-20
The hosts come into the fixture off the back of a hard-fought and gritty 2-1 victory over Alaves last weekend, while Espanyol fell to a disappointing 4-2 loss to Osasuna at home, a defeat that saw head coach Pablo Machin call out his players over their lack of application.
It would be a clash of clubs with contrasting fortunes and Real Madrid currently sit joint-top of the standings with 31 points, despite having a game in hand while the Catalans are second from bottom and five points from safety.
Given the difference in form and quality of the two sides, this is a fixture that Real Madrid would be expected to win and anything other than a convincing win would be unacceptable for Zidane's men.
Real Madrid vs Espanyol Head-To-Head
This fixture has heavily favored Real Madrid in the past and Los Blancos have won 38 and lost just eight of their 52 clashes with Espanyol to date, scoring 115 goals and conceding 38.
Recent history also leans heavily in Los Blancos' favor, with seven of the last eight meetings between the pair ending in a victory for the capital side.
Real Madrid form guide: WWWDW
Espanyol form guide: LDLLL
Real Madrid vs Espanyol Team News
Zinedine Zidane has had ill luck with injuries this term, with a number of first-team players having been ruled out with injury at one point or the other.
Long-term absentees like Marco Asensio (ACL), Nacho (Medial Ligament), James Rodriguez (Medial Ligament), and Lucas Vazquez (Toe) are all still ruled out, while Eden Hazard (Foot), Gareth Bale (Hamstring), and Marcelo (Calf) are recent additions to the treatment table.
Injuries: Marco Asensio, Nacho, Lucas Vazquez, Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Marcelo
Suspension: Casemiro is one yellow card away from a suspension
Real Madrid vs Espanyol Predicted XI
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Thibaut Courtois; Ferland Mendy, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal; Casemiro, Federico Valvarde, Luka Modric; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Real Madrid vs Espanyol Prediction
After an initial wobbly start to the campaign, Zinedine Zidane has steadied the ship in recent weeks and this upturn in fortunes has seen Real Madrid climb up the table to currently occupy top spot jointly with Barcelona.
They would be eager not to drop any points in order not to lose touch of their heated rivals ahead of their blockbuster El Clasico showdown in a fortnight and would fancy their chances against an out-of-sorts Espanyol side.
Los Periquitos have won just two of their opening 15 matches in LaLiga and it was their dire start to the campaign that led to the dismissal of David Gallego. But the appointment of Pablo Machin has not had a significant change in results and Espanyol are currently engaged in a relegation dogfight.
Zinedine Zidane's men have a midweek date with Club Brugge in the Champions League but with qualification already secured, the match is essentially a dead rubber and all attention would be on getting the job done this weekend.
Despite the absence of several key players due to injuries, Real Madrid still have enough quality within their ranks to wallop Espanyol and it is highly unlikely that an upset would be recorded at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Verdict: Real Madrid 4-1 Espanyol