Real Madrid travel to the RCDE Stadium this weekend, hoping to bounce back from a shock defeat in Europe in midweek. Historically they’ve enjoyed visiting this ground and they are usually well supported here too by what is a surprisingly large Real Madrid following in the city of Barcelona. The removal of all capacity restrictions means that may be the case again this weekend.
On the pitch, Espanyol will be hungry to put on a good display. It’s 6 points from 7 games so far for them with just the one solitary victory over Alaves to date. Other than that, they’ve had some quite tricky fixtures though and after this game they’ll have hosted both Madrid clubs and also travelled to the two Seville clubs with some considerably more winnable games to come following the international break.
Vicente Moreno will be hoping to be able to field something closer to his strongest XI then. Their start to the season has been hampered by injuries to the likes of Yangel Herrera and Javi Puado so we haven’t got a clear idea yet of what Moreno’s best team is going to be and how they will shape up. It’s only natural that caution may prevail in this kind of fixture with Raul De Tomas likely to lead the line on his own.
Real Madrid suffered one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history on Tuesday night, losing at home to Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol. It was their first defeat since the return of Carlo Ancelotti but the Italian will most likely not be losing much sleep over it. They had 31 shots in the game to their opponents’ 4, as well as 76% possession and on another night, the scoreline could have been heavily in Madrid’s favour.
However it was the second game in a row in which Madrid failed to score from open play, following on from the 0-0 home draw against Villarreal. Ancelotti will be hungry for a more clinical display here with Eden Hazard potentially returning to the team. Vini Junior has caught the eye this season but you sense Madrid may still need either Hazard or Bale to have significantly better campaigns if they are going to really become a force to be reckoned with again.
Espanyol would be without Javi Puado and Miguel Llambrich due to injuries. Yangel Herrera is nearing fitness but this game could still come too soon.
While Real Madrid Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Gareth Bale and Marcelo are all out. Toni Kroos could feature.
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