Espanyol-Real Madrid Preview: Los Blancos target seventh straight Liga win
Jose Mourinho's side will aim to continue their good form at the Cornella-El Prat as they look ahead to Friday's Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid
By Karthick Arvinth
Espanyol trio Cristian Alvarez, Felipe Mattioni and Simao will miss Saturday's Primera Division clash against Real Madrid.
Defender Mattioni and midfielder Simao are yet to return to training after sustaining calf injuries, while goalkeeper Alvarez is out with a torn hamstring.
Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday's 6-2 win over Malaga and will miss the trip to the Cornella-El Prat.
Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira and Marcelo could all return from spells on the sidelines but Sergio Ramos is still out with a hamstring problem.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Espanyol are on a four-match winless run at home in La Liga (D3, L1).
- Los Periquitos are on a 10-match winless run against Real Madrid, losing eight.
- Espanyol's last home win over Real was a 2-1 triumph in October 2007.
- Real Madrid have only won two of their last five away matches in all competitions (W2, D1, L2).
- The Castilian giants are the only team to remain unbeaten at home across all competitions in Europe's top five leagues this season (W23, D5).
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) scored the 200th goal of his Madrid career in the win over Malaga. He has achieved this feat in just 197 matches.
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Top 3 Predictions
Espanyol 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 13.49 %
Espanyol 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 12.61 %
Espanyol 1-4 Real Madrid CF
- 8.27 %
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 28, 2014||Real Madrid CF 1 - Espanyol 0|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 21, 2014||Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 12, 2014||Espanyol 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 11, 2013||Espanyol 1 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 16, 2012||Real Madrid CF 2 - Espanyol 2|
|Mar 9, 2014||Espanyol 3 - Elche 1||LIGA|
|Mar 1, 2014||Getafe 0 - Espanyol 0||LIGA|
|Feb 24, 2014||Espanyol 1 - Villarreal 2||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Athletic Bilbao 1 - Espanyol 2||LIGA|
|Feb 7, 2014||Espanyol 1 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|6||Juan Daniel Forlín||Defender|
|16||Javier López Rodríguez||Defender|
|3||Diego Daniel Colotto||Defender|
|26||Víctor Sánchez Mata||Midfielder|
|34||Víctor Guillermo Álvarez Delgado||Defender|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The 30-year-old midfielder is Espanyol's top scorer in La Liga this season with nine goals, and his performances have been a key factor in the club's revival under Javier Aguirre. Verdu will hope to put in a good performance and help Espanyol bounce back from the heavy defeat at Sevilla.
The Portugal international shrugged aside rumours of a summer return to former club Manchester United to net his 200th goal for Real Madrid in the 6-2 win over Malaga. Ronaldo will be out to extend his goalscoring form as his team bids to end the season on a high.
Real were sensational in the demolition of Malaga and they will want to continue winning games to keep away the media circus that is threatening to undermine the club. Espanyol have little to play for after securing their top-flight status for next season and could fall to a third-straight defeat.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed