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Played
March 4, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ José Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 78000‎
 
23′ C. Ronaldo
 
38′ Sami Khedira
 
 
66′ Kaká
 
 

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

Xabi Alonso, Real Madrid
Getty Images

PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL MADRID

Casillas
Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo
Granero, Alonso
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Higuain
ESPANYOL

Casilla
Galan, Rodriguez, Moreno, Didac
Baena, Romaric
Weiss, Verdu, Coutinho
Alvaro

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).


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 28, 2014 Real Madrid CF 1 - Espanyol 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Jan 21, 2014 Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Jan 12, 2014 Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ May 11, 2013 Espanyol 1 - Real Madrid CF 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Dec 16, 2012 Real Madrid CF 2 - Espanyol 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
12MarceloDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
22KakáMidfielder
1AdànGoalkeeper
33Raúl Albiol Defender
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
25Esteban GraneroMidfielder
6Lassana DiarraMidfielder
7José Callejón Striker
21MorataStriker
13Kiko CasillaGoalkeeper
3Raúl RodríguezDefender
15Héctor MorenoDefender
16Javier López RodríguezDefender
6Juan Daniel ForlínDefender
12Dídac VilàDefender
10VerdúMidfielder
-RomaricMidfielder
40Vladimir WeissMidfielder
10CoutinhoMidfielder
26ÁlvaroStriker
-EdgarGoalkeeper
2Jordi AmatDefender
7Raúl BaenaMidfielder
8Cristian GómezMidfielder
9Sergio GarcíaStriker
-Kalu UcheStriker
37Thievy BifoumStriker
Players to Watch
Gonzalo Higuaín
Gonzalo Higuaín
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Argentine has been largely overshadowed by Karim Benzema this campaign, despite having more league goals to his name than the Frenchman. Without a goal in his last five league appearances, the former River Plate striker will be keen to end his barren spell on his 150th league appearance for the Castilian club.
Álvaro
Álvaro
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 26
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The highly-rated Spain U21 international has been one of Espanyol's bright lights this season and, with a tally of nine goals in all competitions, has capably filled the void left by Pablo Osvaldo. The 20-year-old earned the adulation of Espanyol fans with his late equaliser against city rivals Barcelona in January and he will be relishing the chance to add to his tally and grab another big scalp on Sunday.
Prediction
Real Madrid showed the hallmark of champions last weekend when they ground out a win at Rayo Vallecano, despite being second-best for long periods. But they should make short work of Pochettino's side, whose bright start to 2012 has been scuppered by a lengthening injury list.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0