Real Madrid leads the Spanish La Liga table with 49 points (1 ahead of Barcelona) but importantly 2 games in hand. They take on Espanyol in the league game this Saturday 18th February 2017 at Santiago Bernabue and another three points with put them 4 ahead of Barcelona putting more pressure on the Catalan club. As we head into the business end of the season, Real Madrid has put themselves in superb position to give it a right go for league and European double. The game kicks off at around 15:15 uk time.
Match Highlights (English)
Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol Highlights
[ Spanish La Liga 2017 Match ]
33′ 1 – 0 Alvaro Morata scores in 33rd minute to finally break the deadlock and put Real Madrid in lead. However They did look unconvincing upfront missing number of chances.
84′ 2 – 0 Gareth Bale came on as second half sub to score on his return to first team action.
Real Madrid has been in superb form this season they are clear favourites in the title race while their 3-1 win over Napoli in first leg has put them in great position to advance to next round. Zidane’s is likely to make couple of changes in the starting lineup on Saturday and we might see Morata starting upfront with Ronaldo and Lucas while Isco might also be given the nod after James Rodriguez failed to impress in Champions League tie.
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.
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.