Real Madrid host Espanyol in the Spanish La Liga on Sunday evening and could narrow the deficit in the title race with a win. Los Blancos are coming off the back of fine home form, and with the visitors having one of the worst away records in the division this season, Sunday’s clash could well see goals galore at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real can’t stop scoring in their own backyard
Coming off the back of five consecutive home wins, Real Madrid are in fantastic shape to earn a routing victory, but given how one-sided their last few games have been, Espanyol could be in for another rude awakening. Having lost 6-0 to Los Blancos when the two sides met at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat back in September.
Real Madrid have scored three or more goals in all but one of their last eight league games at the Bernabeu, while Espanyol have been conceding for fun in recent weeks. The visitors have won just once on the road since September, and are currently on barren run of seven consecutive away defeats, averaging more than two goals conceded per game on the road.
Visitors have been whipping boys of late
The hosts’ form in their own backyard has seen them fire five goals against Real Betis in August, four goals against Getafe in December, 10 goals against Rayo Vallecano, five goals against Deportivo La Coruna and five goals against Sporting Gijon. Espanyol have shipped three or more goals in four of their 11 away games, and Real could pile the misery on this weekend as a result.
In his pre-match press conference, Real manager Zinedine Zidane made it clear he wants the side to start fast like they did in their last two home games to try and open a big lead in the early stages. Against Sporting Gijon, the Spanish giants were 5-0 up at half time. Zidane wants to see a repeat.
” Work this week has gone really well. You need to start strong right from kick-off. Let’s see if we can again tomorrow like we did in the first two games. The first thing my players have to do is respect our rivals and to respect them properly. What will the team need to do? Score goals. That’s all. And enter the game strongly,” he said.
With Real Madrid having hit the underdogs for six earlier in the season, while Espanyol’s form has considerably spiralled, could Los Blancos ruin riot on Sunday?