Real Madrid visiting Espanyol and they were without Ronaldo and Bale while Casemiro also limped off in first 20 minutes or so. Espanyol played some great football most of the first half but they failed to score on several chances made available for them. Just when it looked like both teams will go into the break at 0-0, James Rodriguez produced moment of magic to score the first goal for Real Madrid after some neat footwork to beat couple of players and scoring with a low hard finish past keeper.
Espanyol 0-2 Real Madrid Highlights
[ Spanish Primera Liga 2016-17 Match ]
45′ 0 – 1 James Rodriguez produced individual brilliance to beat couple of players before unleashing a low hard drive past Espanyol keeper to put Real Madrid 1-0 up just before the break. Cruel for Espanyol who played superb football forst best part of first 45 minutes.
71′ 0 – 2 Karim Benzema scores after the break to settle the game.
Match Highlights (English)
Barcelona are now 3 points clear off Atletico with a game in hand while Real Madrid trail Barcelona by 7 points in third place. Statistically the title race is still on but if we look at the form of all three teams 2015-16 title is Barcelona’s to lose as their remaining fixture list in the league is easier than the other two. Real Madrid must win this game against Espanyol to keep in touch with leaders and looking at the form of both teams Zidan’s side is heavy favourit to win tonight.
Real Madrid has scored 10 goals in the last 2 home matches while Espanyol has a abysmal away record having lost 9 away games including 5 straight away defeats leaving them in 14th place just 4 points away from relegation zone. The contrasting form set up a superb encounter and we might see another goal frenzy at Bernabue this sunday.
Team News & Possible Lineups: Sergio Ramos is expected to start alongside Rafael Varane while Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are set to make the back four. Gareth bale remain sidelined which means either Isco and James Rodrigues will start alongside Ronaldo, Benzema upfront with Modric and Kroos playing in deep midfield roles.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup. Confirmed team news should be out couple of hours before the kickoff.
Match predictions: Real Madrid has a superb home record losing only to Barcelona this season, they have scored 39 goals in the 11 games played so far at Santiago Bernabue and conceded just 10, only Barcelona can better Real’s home record in the league. So its hard to see Espanyol causing troubles for Real Madrid tonight. I am going with a 4-1 win for Real Madrid in this one with Ronaldo to grab a brace again.