Real Madrid have a great opportunity tonight to cut the gap on the top two in La Liga to just three points after Atletico de Madrid and Barcelona shared the spoils on Saturday evening in a 0-0 draw.
And Carlo Ancelotti’s men should go into the match with confidence as they are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league. In those eight matches, Real have scored 31 goals, with Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing 12 of them himself.
Espanyol meanwhile have only recorded six wins in La Liga all season, and have been inconsistent of late, losing three of their last six matches. They will be without suspended captain Garcia this evening, while coach Javier Aguirre will watch the match from the stands having been given a one-game ban for abusing the referee in last week’s loss to Osasuna.
Raphael Varane and Sami Khedira are the only long-term absentees from the Real squad. Ancelotti will likely continue with Daniel Carvajal at right-back, while Xabi Alonso should slot back into the midfield having missed the midweek Copa del Rey match due to an ear infection. Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema should lead the line, with the Portuguese looking to add to his tally of goals for the season before heading off for the Ballon d’Or award on Monday.
Probable line-ups:Espanyol: Casilla; Fuentes, Colotto, Moreno, J Lopez; Simao, Sanchez, V Lopez, Fernandez, Stuani; Cordoba.
Real Madrid: Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Alonso, Modric; Ronaldo, Isco, Bale; Benzema