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Played
January 13, 2014 2:00 AM MYT
Estadi Cornellà-El Prat — Cornella de Llobregat
Referee:‬ José Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 32131‎
 
 
Pepe 55′

Espanyol - Real Madrid Preview: Blancos can close gap as Atletico & Barca clash

Carlo Ancelotti's men sit third in La Liga but can catch at least one of the top two with a win in Catalunya at the weekend

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty

The pressure is on Real Madrid to beat Espanyol on Sunday and close the five-point gap to La Liga's top two, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

With Barca and Atleti playing each other on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti's side will make ground on one or both of them if they can extend their unbeaten run over Espanyol to 12 games.

Espanyol have endured an inconsistent season under Javier Aguirre so far with only six league wins to their name, although one of those did come against Atletico at El Prat in October.

The Mexican will not be on the sidelines though after being sent to the stands during last week's 1-0 defeat to Osasuna and subsequently being found guilty of abusing the referee and given a four-match ban.

Stopping Real Madrid will be difficult given the 32-time league winners have amassed 31 goals in their last eight Liga matches, with forward Cristiano Ronaldo getting 12 of those to take him to the top of the goalscoring charts in Spain with 20 for the campaign.

The Portugal international is one of the most in-form players across the continent and is odds-on favourite to lift the Ballon d'Or on Monday after his displays in 2013.

Espanyol have earned draws in their last two meetings with the Blancos, however they come into the game on the back of consecutive defeats in La Liga and Wednesday's first-leg Copa del Rey tie with second-tier Alcorcon.

Raphael Varane and Sami Khedira (both knee) are the only players unavailable for the visitors but Aguirre will be without his captain Sergio Garcia through suspension and David Lopez after he picked up a thigh injury in midweek.



Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 29, 2014 Real Madrid CF 1 - Espanyol 0
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Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 22, 2014 Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Jan 13, 2014 Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ May 12, 2013 Espanyol 1 - Real Madrid CF 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Dec 17, 2012 Real Madrid CF 2 - Espanyol 2
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Espanyol $85.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Draw $55.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Real Madrid $13.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Team News
Available Squads
13Kiko CasillaGoalkeeper
18FuentesDefender
3Raúl RodríguezDefender
15Héctor MorenoDefender
19Diego Daniel ColottoDefender
22Alex FernándezMidfielder
4Víctor Sánchez MataMidfielder
25Gabriel TorjeMidfielder
16Javier López RodríguezDefender
24Jhon CórdobaStriker
8StuaniStriker
1GermánGoalkeeper
6SidneiDefender
11Joan CapdevilaDefender
23AbrahamMidfielder
20SimãoMidfielder
12LanzaroteStriker
9PizziStriker
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
12MarceloDefender
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
20Jesé RodríguezStriker
17ArbeloaDefender
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
18Nacho FernándezDefender
21MorataStriker
23IscoMidfielder
Probable Lineups
Kiko Casilla 13
Fuentes 18
Raúl Rodríguez 3
Héctor Moreno 15
Diego Daniel Colotto 19
Alex Fernández 22
Víctor Sánchez Mata 4
Gabriel Torje 25
Javier López Rodríguez 16
Jhon Córdoba 24
Stuani 8
Diego López Rodríguez 25
Daniel Carvajal 15
Marcelo 12
Pepe 3
Sergio Ramos 4
Ángel Di María 22
Gareth Bale 11
Luka Modric 19
Xabi Alonso 14
Karim Benzema 9
Cristiano Ronaldo 7
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0