Real Madrid - Espanyol Preview: League leaders look to extend winning run to 10 matches
Los Merengues vie to keep Barcelona at arm's length in the Primera Division title race with victory over the Catalan capital's second club at the Santiago Bernabeu
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Galan, Rodriguez, Moreno, Didac
Weiss, Verdu, Coutinho
Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao has been ruled out of action for three weeks after sustaining a groin injury while on international duty with Portugal.
Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema are still sidelined through injury, while Lassana Diarra (back) and Hamit Altintop (calf) have resumed training again and could be fit in time for Sunday's visit of Espanyol.
Meanwhile, France U21 international Raphael Varane could be in line for a rare start in central defence in place of the suspended Pepe.
Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino has received some positive news on the injury front with the return to fitness of forward Sergio Garcia, who has recovered from the knee problem that has kept him out of action since mid-January.
Long-term absentees Walter Pandiani and Javi Marquez have also returned to training for the injury-plagued Catalan side, with goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez and Juan Albin also reported to be close to making returns. Right-back Ernesto Galan is available again after serving a one-match suspension.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have won their last nine league games - their longest winning streak in La Liga since a 10-match run between Sep-Dec 2011.
- Los Blancos have netted 80 goals in their 24 league matches so far, breaking Valencia's top-flight record of 79 goals at this stage in the 1941-42 season.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) has scored more league goals this season (29) than 12 clubs in the Spanish top division, including Espanyol (27).
- Espanyol are on a four-game winless run in the league (D2 L2), but are unbeaten in their last four away matches (W1 D3).
- The Catalan club have not registered a league victory at Bernabeu since the 1995-96 season.
- Espanyol have conceded the most penalties in the Primera Division this season (six), while Real Madrid have been awarded the most penalties (10).
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Espanyol
- 18.03 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Espanyol
- 16.38 %
Real Madrid CF 4-1 Espanyol
- 11.17 %
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||28 Jan 2014||Real Madrid CF 1 - Espanyol 0|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||21 Jan 2014||Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||12 Jan 2014||Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||11 May 2013||Espanyol 1 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||16 Dec 2012||Real Madrid CF 2 - Espanyol 2|
|Real Madrid CF|
|2 Mar 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|26 Feb 2014||FC Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|22 Feb 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|16 Feb 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|11 Feb 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||ESPC|
|16||Javier López Rodríguez||Defender|
|6||Juan Daniel Forlín||Defender|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed