Espanyol vs Real Madrid Live
Real Madrid will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Catalonia to take on Espanyol in La Liga.
Los Blancos have won four matches in a row in the competition and are trying to hunt down rivals Atletico Madrid, who sit in second place in the standings. Espanyol have proven resilient of late, with four consecutive draws, but Real enter the match as clear favourites.
Here’s a look ahead at the contest.
Date: Tuesday, February 27
Time: 7 p.m. GMT/2 p.m. ET
Venue: RCDE Stadium, Barcelona
TV Info/Live Stream: Sky Sports (UK), BeIN Sports (U.S.)
For Real, Toni Kroos remains out with a knee injury, per the Press Association (for the Mirror). Luka Modric and Marcelo have also been absent recently after picking up knocks and are not expected to feature against the Catalans. Marco Asensio could return to the team, however, following his absence against Alaves after he had his wisdom tooth removed, per Marca.
In all likelihood, Los Blancos will not risk their stars if they have any knocks or struggle with illness―Barcelona’s good form means the La Liga title race is all but over, and the return leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League is the priority at this point.
Real steamed to a 4-0 win over Deportivo Alaves in their last outing, and manager Zinedine Zidane wasn’t afraid to mix things up during the match, making tactical changes and some alterations to his side.
The BBC of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema featured together in a configuration we hadn’t seen in some time, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man reverting back to his spot on the wing. ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan noted Zidane isn’t committing to any
his run of relatively easy matches comes at a good time for Zidane and Real, allowing him to experiment a bit with his team and rest key starters ahead of the all-important match against PSG. Real will host Getafe before the trip to France―expect most of the regular starters to feature in Catalonia and be rested in the next outing.
There could also be plenty of changes early at the RCDE Stadium if things go Real’s way―Espanyol have something of a reputation for playing a physical brand of football, especially against the league’s best.
VIGO, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 11: Diego Lopez of RCD Espanyol reacts during the La Liga match between Celta de Vigo and Espanyol at Balaidos Stadium on February 11, 2018 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Former Blancos goalkeeper Diego Lopez was the only reason Espanyol didn’t lose at Deportivo La Coruna in their last match, and the 36-year-old will be keen to show his old club he’s still a great stopper.
Lopez left Real for Milan in 2014 but never really settled in Serie A. He’s been solid since returning to Spain, however, and will have the chance to prove it against the La Liga giants.