La Liga Betting Tips

Real Madrid vs Espanyol betting tips: La Liga preview, predictions and odds

Real Madrid have actually lost two of their last four visits to Cornellà de Llobregat, including a 2-1 defeat in October. However, they're unbeaten in 25 encounters in Madrid, with Espanyol last beating them in the capital in 1996. Los Blancos have won their last nine home games against the Catalan side, scoring 20 goals. 

Real Madrid to win and both teams to score NO is 8/5.

Karim Benzema is 13/5 to break the deadlock and 4/6 to score anytime.

Match preview

Will Real Madrid rubber stamp their second La Liga title in three years, and record-extending 35th title overall?

Carlo Ancelotti's side were last in La Liga action ten days ago, beating Osasuna 3-1, despite Karim Benzema seeing two penalties saved in Pamplona.

David Alaba, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez did manage to find the net though as they left El Sadar with all three points.

This means los Blancos have won eight of their last nine league games so are 15 points clear of Barcelona and would confirm the title with just a draw in this one.

Of course, this would be a big achievement but, with this coming in-between two Champions League ties, Ancelotti's main focus might be elsewhere.

Last Tuesday, Real Madrid were part of yet another Champions League classic, actually losing 4-3 on the night to Manchester City.

Karim Benzema scoring twice, the first an impossible header, followed by a Panenka penalty, with Vinícius Júnior also netted after a long solo-run.

As mentioned, Real were beaten in Manchester but, only a goal down, they'll bring the Premier League champions back to Spain confident of a remontada.

Here, Espanyol will be looking to play the role of party poopers.

Vicente Moreno's side suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Rayo Vallecano in their last game nine days ago.

This means they have lost back-to-back games for only the third time this season, last losing three on the bounce in July 2020 when they were relegated.

Blanquiazules' form more generally is inconsistent, epitomised by the fact they're 13th in the table.

Will it be a day of big celebrations at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu?

Real Madrid team news

With that game against Manchester City on the horizon, Carlo Ancelotti will make sweeping changes to his XI.

He does though have shortage of centre-backs with David Alaba a doubt, while Nacho and Éder Militão are both suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

So Jesús Vallejo, who's made just three appearances this season, totaling 14 minutes, could make his first Real start since 12 May 2019.

That day didn't go particularly well for him as he was sent off just 39 minutes into a 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad.

Alongside could be Dani Carvajal with Lucas Vázquez and Marcelo therefore deputising at full-back.

In midfield, Casemiro sat out Tuesday's game in Manchester but there is optimism he'll be able to feature in the second leg.

None of their other key players, Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, Vinícius Júnior or Karim Benzema, are likely to be in the XI for this one.

So, Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Ceballos, Isco, Marco Asensio and even the less-spotted Gareth Bale could start.

Eden Hazard didn't travel to Manchester due to an injury so will miss a rare opportunity for minutes.

Espanyol team news

In contrast, Vicente Moreno's men haven't played for 10 days so will be at full strength here.

Raúl de Tomás opened the scoring as Espanyol won the reverse fixture, but will play at the Bernabéu for the very first time here.

40 year old goalkeeper Diego López won a Champions League and Copa del Rey double in 2014 with Real, making 73 appearances for them.

However, he's conceded 38 goals in 17 appearances against los Blancos, keeping just a solitary clean sheet.

La Liga table:

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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