Hello and welcome to cfrealmadrid.com. Today we are presenting the Match Preview of Real Madrid vs Espanyol of Match day 16 of Spanish La Liga Santander. After the 2-1 victory at Alaves. We are heading into this game level on points with Barca and will be determined to at least keep it that way heading into the Classico later in the month. We played 7 matches on home with 5 wins and 7 matches away from home with 4 wins.
Pablo Machin’s side are facing up to the prospect of a long, hard relegation battle. Currently, they are on the second last spot in the table with 9 points. Interestingly, 8 out of their 9 points came from away games and anything here for them would be a massive bonus. However, Pablo Machin, Espanyol coach wasn’t shy about publicly criticising his players.
Real Madrid have been really impressive of late with Fede Valverde adding a new dimension to their midfield and Karim Benzema continuing to lead the line brilliantly. They should have far too much quality for Espanyol. As this will be our home game and considerably easy game as coming games are tougher, so we should try to get 3 points with greater margin of goals.
In the last 6 meetings, Madrid have won 5 times while Espanyol with one victory. Real Madrid have won 102 Laliga games against Espanyol (D33 L35). No other team has won more times against a single opponent in Laliga history. Let’s discuss the Match Preview of Real Madrid vs Espanyol in detail:
Real Madrid vs Espanyol-Match Preview:
Los Blancos are missing Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale to injury which limits Real’s attacking fire power but we have young guns like Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr. , Jovic and Brahim in the deck. Zidane has also restored the diamond formation with isco as free role in the midfield which also added great value to the squad. The defense of Espanyol is fragile and allow open chances to the forward line. We will have to attack on their weaknesses.
We have seen that the early pressing of Zidane side against the opponents always help to score early goals and put pressure on the other team . If we press against the Espanyol and score early goals , things will get tougher for the visiting side.
However, Zidane has to choose between the formation of 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 with Isco as free role. In the latter setup, Isco role is of great significance. He has done well against the PSG and Alaves in that role.Alternatively, Espanyol Match is good to introduce some youngsters like Vinicius, Jovic or Brahim on the wings. If we opt 4-3-3 formation, Vinicius and Rodrygo can play along with Benzema in the forward line.
Kick off time:
The match between Real Madrid vs Espanyol will kick off on 7th December, 2019 , Saturday at 01:00 P.M. local time at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The 25th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) is currently taking place in Madrid. So, Real Madrid will wear the green kit tomorrow against Espanyol at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as a part of an initiative to draw attention towards climate change. People who attend the match will see a large banner on the main façade of the Bernabeu, measuring 35.77×19.60 metres, and it will remain there until December 13.
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Areola, and Altube.
Defenders: Carvajal, Odriozola, Militao, Varane, Ramos and Mendy.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, and Isco.
Attackers: Benzema, Jovic , Brahim, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.
(4-3-1-2) Courtois , Mendy, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal ,Casemiro, Modric, Valverde ,Isco , Benzema, Rodrygo .
Thibaut Courtois will most likely to start against the Espanyol. He missed match against Alaves last weekend. Despite mistakes and slips in the early phase of the league from Courtois, he has improved a lot in the last matches he played. His role will be very crucial in the coming matches of this month.
In the heart of defense, Varane and Sergio Ramos will most probably start the game. Both of these players have to go all out, and must play sensibly. Our defence behaves awful sometimes , and extreme care must be given to it. Sergio Ramos played a lot in the recent past, we can also try the partnership of Militao and Varane in the centre backs positions.
Carvajal was the man of the match in the last match and scored his decisive goal for Real Madrid against Alaves. He will start the match. We want the repetition of last match performance from him. We need the in form defenders for the upcoming matches against Valencia and Barcelona. So Carvajal role becomes crucial in this month.
We already lost the service of Marcelo in the defense because he is in the injured players list until the end of this month. So Ferland Mendy will start against Espanyol. Ferland Mendy must utilize these games to prove that he is a Madrid quality player, and not just a hype. He must not stick to the defense. He must join in the attack, and help it to maintain pressure on the opposition. Mendy was the regular starter in Olympique Lyons .He just needs to replicate those expertise on the field in Madrid also.
I don’t feel that Madrid have to play this match with an additional midfielder , we should stick to traditional 3 midfielders. We can gave rest to Kroos and play Valverde instead of Kroos against Espanyol. Valverde is our future star. He should be given more minutes and exposure. The agility which he brings in the midfield is very impressive. Along with Valverde, Modric has to play.
Modric is aging but still impressive and classy. Luka Modric has been involved in four of Real Madrid’s last six goals in LaLiga (one goal and 3 assists). He’s netted two goals in LaLiga this season, just one short of his best return in a season in the competition (3 in 2012-13 and 2018-19).
In the holding role, Casemiro will start the game. However, Casemiro is one yellow card away from missing a match. If he gets a booking, he will have to surely miss the game against Valencia. Additionally, if he gets a booking in Valencia match, he will most likely to miss El Classico. We don’t have his back up. Casemiro is very crucial player for us. My opinion is that we should play him against Espanyol , if he gets yellow then his El Classico match will not be missed.
If Zidane opt to 4-4-2 diamond formation, Isco will play as in the free role. He looks too much impressive when he is in prime. He will have to continue his form against PSG. Isco played his prime time under Zidane in 2016, 2017 season. If he will recover that form, what else you will require from him?
Benzema will most likely start as a no.9 for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema has scored five goals in his last six Laliga games against Espanyol, including a brace in their last fixture in January 2019. He should look for Pichichi trophy this year. He already scored 10 goals in the domestic season. If he gets this trophy, it will be huge achievement and shame to some other players from other teams who still gets all the penalties and will not compete with Benzema who are not scoring from penalties.
I think Zidane should give more playing time to Vinicius. Vinicius will be huge aspect for Real Madrid in the coming years. His game play under Solari improved a lot in the last season. He should be played on the left flank. Zidane has played him on the right flank which is not his natural position. As Hazard is injured, there will be a spot for him on the left flank.
Rodrygo outclassed the Galatasary in the Champions league. I am very happy that he is improving in every game he is playing for the Los Blancos. With Bale out of the squad, there is also opportunity for him to play on the right flank. Another player, fans are looking for is Luka Jovic. Luka Jovic has not shown his true colours and potential in the Los Blancos side. He is also an option in the attacking line for Real Madrid.
Even if Espanyol were playing well, I wouldn’t fancy them here and there should only be the same outcome to this match as previously we saw when both teams played. So I am predicting Madrid 3-0 against Espanyol.
My verdict is the same as I have written above in match preview. Madrid should try to win this game with larger margin of goals. As it is a home game. We have to take advantage of it. Well Guys, this is it from the Real Madrid vs Espanyol Match Preview. Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. We shall meet soon with the Review of the game. Until next time, Hala Madrid!