Real Madrid will hope to bounce back from one of the most embarrassing moments in their history when they visit Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday. Los Blancos are top of the table going into the weekend, while Los Periquitos are down in the bottom half on their return to the top flight.
Where and when: RCDE Stadium – 3 October, kick-off 15:15
Where you can see Espanyol vs. Real Madrid: La Liga TV
Last time: Casemiro scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time, as Madrid were victorious away to Espanyol the last time the teams met in June of last year.
Espanyol v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
Espanyol’s stint in the Segunda only last a single season ahead of their immediate return as second-tier champions. Real Madrid have their sights set firmly on recapturing the top-flight title from local rivals Atletico Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti expecting a reaction from his players this weekend.
Real slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Moldovan minnows Sheriff in the Champions League on Tuesday. Los Blancos controlled possession and had a number of good chances, but they were incredibly fortunate to be awarded the VAR-reviewed penalty that allowed them to equalise, before Sebastien Trill’s fairytale late winner for the visitors.
Los Blancos lacked quality in the final third in midweek, but they’ve made a strong start to their domestic campaign in 2021-22. The capital club remain unbeaten in La Liga after seven matches, winning five and drawing two. Despite that, Madrid are without a win in their last two fixtures, having shared a goalless draw at home to Villarreal last weekend.
Given they won four in a row prior to that, including resounding victories over Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca, the visitors will fancy their chances of returning to the win column in these Espanyol v Real Madrid predictions. The away team are the 7/10 favourites in the betting, while you can back Los Periquitos at 41/10.
Espanyol have made a relatively solid return to the top flight, only losing three of their opening seven fixtures. However, there’s only been one victory so far for Vicente Moreno’s side, who are in 14th place ahead of the weekend. Although they’ve been tough to beat, the Catalans need to improve their points-per-game ratio over the course of the season.
Even so, avoiding defeat by any means necessary in this game would represent a strong result for the hosts. Especially as Madrid have won each of the last four meetings between the clubs, scoring eight goals and keeping three clean sheets in the process. A draw is priced at 16/5 in the betting, but a Madrid win to nil looks more likely at 21/10.
One to watch for Espanyol: Raul de Tomas netted 23 times in 37 Segunda appearances last season, and has started the new campaign with two in seven. He is 7/1 to add to his tally by scoring first in this Espanyol v Real Madrid preview.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema also scored 23 league goals last term and has made a lightning start to 2021-22. The Frenchman has rattled in eight goals in just seven games so far and is the 17/5 favourite to break the deadlock in this game.
Long shot: We’re backing a Madrid win to nil in this game, with a 2-0 away victory priced at 8/1. If you fancy a scorecast as part of your Espanyol v Real Madrid tips, you can add Benzema as the first goalscorer at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday for odds of 37/1.