Sunday’s late kick-off sees a free-falling Espanyol looking to get their mojo back when they lock horns with Real Madrid, who are chasing back-to-back away wins in La Liga for the first time this season. Both sides come into the game fresh from their exploits in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first legs on Thursday. The game between Espanyol and Real Madrid will take place at the RCDE Stadium on January 27th, 2019.
Espanyol vs. Real Madrid
Three-Way: 1: Espanyol +350; X: +300 Draw; 2: Real Madrid -139 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread +1: Espanyol -147; Real Madrid +123
Total 2.5 goals: Over -139; Under +110
The Barcelona-based club was in second place after matchday 11 but have slipped to 13th heading into the weekend after losing eight of their last nine games (W1, L8), conceding goals galore along the way (2.44 per game).
Home goals have been hard to come by lately for Espanyol, who have scored more than once in just one of the previous eight competitive outings in front of their own fans – shipping three or more goals on three occasions (W0, D0, L3).
Espanyol opened the two-legged Copa del Rey clash with Betis with a 1-1 draw at home despite having a 1-0 lead after Borja Iglesias scored for the hosts in the 27th minute but the visitors managed to equalize through Antonio Sanabria in the 81st minute and Betis is in a slightly better position to advance to the semi-finals.
Joan Rubi will be without Oscar Duarte (hip), AdriaGinerPedrosa (muscle), David Lopez (muscle), Naldo (leg), and Hernan Perez (knee).
- Borja Iglesias, who opened the scoring against Betis, has now scored 12 of Espanyol’s 29 goals in all competitions this season
- Espanyol are the only side yet to draw a home match in LaLiga this campaign (W6, L3)
As for Madrid themselves, last week’s 2-0 over Sevilla saw them leapfrog the Andalusian outfit into the third spot. They have now kept eight clean sheets in LaLiga this campaign, although a 1-0 win against Huesca on matchday 15 is their only clean sheet away from home thus far.
Top-flight visits to the RCDE Stadium have been very fruitful for Madrid (W7, D1, L1), with their only loss coming last season (1-0). Real Madrid won four out of their previous five games including the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals against Girona at home.
The visitors got to an early lead through Anthony Lozano but the Galacticos responded with goals from Lucas and Sergio Ramos, and although Alex Granell equalized from the penalty spot in the 66th minute, the captain Ramos and Karim Benzema set the final score, 4-2, in the last 13 minutes of the tilt.
Santiago Solari cannot count on Jesus Vallejo who is out with a thigh injury, while Gareth Bale (calf), Marco Asensio (thigh), Keylor Navas (groin), and Mariano Diaz (back) are listed as doubtful for the upcoming clash with Espanyol.
- Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has got himself on the scoresheet in four of his side’s 11 league wins
- Madrid hasn’t won any of the six LaLiga games in which they have been behind at the break (D1, L5)
Real Madrid won nine out of the previous ten H2H encounters (L1) including the one they recorded earlier this season (1-0), while the Galacticos were victorious in five of the past six meetings at the RCDE Stadium. Real Madrid likes to play against Espanyol and they have been dominant in recent duels but they didn’t score more than two goals in the last five clashes and I don’t think they will dismantle the hosts in this one. I expect to see a strong resistance from Espanyol and I am backing them to cover the +1 spread.
MY PICK: AH +1 Espanyol (-147)
ADDITIONAL PICK: None of the last seven encounters between the pair have seen both sides find the net, and each of the previous five H2H meetings produced under 2.5 goals and I expect to see another low-scoring affair here.
MY PICK: Under 2.5 (+110)