Real Madrid vs Espanyol predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as Los Blancos aim to close the gap at the top.
|Date||Saturday 11th March 2023|
Real Madrid vs Espanyol Preview
Real Madrid kick off the weekend action in LaLiga with a home game against Espanyol. This was the fixture which saw Los Blancos clinch the title last term but it’s going to take a dramatic turnaround for them to successfully defend it this year.
It’s not that there has been a massive regression this season. Real Madrid still average 2.2 points per league game which would translate to 84 points over the course of a season. They comfortably won the Spanish League with 86 last season but Barcelona’s improvement and ability to consistently win without always sparkling leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s side 9 points off the pace with 14 games to go.
That’s a lot of ground to make up but they are going to need a good week prior to the international break to stand a chance. With Barcelona away to Athletic this weekend, Real Madrid have the potential to at least reduce the deficit and then they will surely need to win El Clasico at Camp Nou next Sunday to maintain a fighting chance of defending their title.
Espanyol will be hoping to spring a surprise here and their starting eleven does have a stronger feel to it now than was the case earlier in the season. Denis Suarez, Cesar Montes and Fernando Pacheco all arrived in January and have all slotted into the eleven and only 3 teams have taken more points from their last 8 games in LaLiga than Espanyol (13).
However it’d be an exaggeration to say they are now a fully convincing side. They were beaten by out-of-form Real Valladolid last time out and Diego Martinez is still experimenting a bit with his formation and structure. It’s likely to be a back three here with Denis Suarez perhaps playing behind a front two of Joselu and Martin Braithwaite who should ensure the visitors do carry at least some goal threat.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Courtois – Nacho, Rudiger, Militao, Carvajal – Ceballos, Tchouameni, Valverde – Vini, Rodrygo, Asensio (4-3-3)
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
|DOUBTFUL||Dani Gomez, Bare, Olivan|
Possible XI: Pacheco – Cabrera, Gomez, Montes – Olivan, Souza, Darder, Gil – Denis Suarez – Joselu, Braithwaite (3-4-1-2)
Coach: Diego Martinez
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Espanyol
Real Madrid are set to be without Karim Benzema again but this is not a convincing Espanyol defence and it’s hard to see them keeping the defending champions quiet for long in this game. An away goal is a possibility but the points should stay in Madrid.
PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.