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Real Madrid Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Espanyol

2:15 PM GMT+8 01/10/2017
Gareth Bale Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Everything you need to know ahead of Los Blancos' seventh league match of the season on Sunday

Real Madrid will hope to find form at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday against Espanyol after failing to win any of their home matches in La Liga this season.

Zinedine Zidane's side have won all three of their away fixtures in the Primera Division, at Deportivo La Coruna, Real Sociedad and Alaves, but have picked up only two points at the Bernabeu following disappointing draws against Valencia and Levante and a suprise defeat to Betis.

Madrid 6/4 for La Liga title

Los Blancos trail fierce rivals Barcelona by seven points in the table already and will look to build on their impressive away form, which included a 3-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night.


REAL MADRID INJURIES


Mateo Kovacic went off with an adductor injury against APOEL earlier in September and the Croatian midfielder is expected to be sidelined for up to two months.

Karim Benzema is also still out after picking up a muscle injury in the 1-1 draw at home to Levante.

In the meantime, Zidane is still without either of his first-choice left-backs as Marcelo and Theo Hernandez are both out with injuries.

Gareth Bale is doubtful, but the Welsh winger should be ready in time for Sunday's match.


REAL MADRID SUSPENSIONS


Cristiano Ronaldo recently returned from a five-match domestic ban, while Sergio Ramos and Marcelo have also served suspensions this season, but Real Madrid do not have any players suspended for the Espanyol game.


REAL MADRID POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


With Marcelo and Theo Hernandez still out, Nacho will continue at left-back for Real Madrid.

Elsewhere, Marco Asensio could be in line for a start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in attack after he signed a new long-term contract this week. If Zidane decides against fielding Bale, Isco is likely to feature instead.

In midfield, Dani Ceballos is set to start on the bench despite his heroics last weekend, when he scored both of Madrid's goals in the 2-1 win at Alaves.


ESPANYOL TEAM NEWS


Since losing 5-0 to Barcelona recently, Espanyol have been on good form, picking up seven points from their last three fixtures in La Liga.

The Catalans beat Celta Vigo 2-1, before a 0-0 draw at Villarreal and then a 4-1 win at home to Deportivo La Coruna last weekend.

Javi Lopez and Oscar Duarte miss out through injury against Real Madrid.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Real Madrid have not lost any of their last 19 league games against Espanyol, winning 16 of those and keeping 13 clean sheets in those matches.

  • Espanyol have only lost one of their last seven away matches in La Liga, although that was a 5-0 drubbing at Barcelona recently.

  • Real Madrid are currently on 99 league wins against Espanyol and could become the first team in La Liga history to set 100 wins against the same opponent.

  • Los Blancos have scored more goals against Espanyol than they have against any other side in La Liga history (369).

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored at least three goals in three of his last four games against Espanyol in La Liga (with 11 in those matches).


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Real Madrid versus Espanyol kicks off at 20:45 local time at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday and will be broadcast live from 19:40 UK time on Sky Sports Football