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Espanyol vs Real Madrid: Bale returns to Los Blancos’ bench

first_imgReal Madrid are seeking to build a head of steam when they travel to face Espanyol after back-to-back wins .Last weekend they scored an impressive 2-0 win over Sevilla to cement their position in the top four of La Liga and then followed that up with a come-from-behind Copa del Rey success over Girona. Both of those matches were played at the Bernabeu and mid-table Espanyol will be hoping to stop them in their tracks, though the form of the home side is woeful. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Espanyol vs Real Madrid Date Sunday, January 27 Time 7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream beIN Sports fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be streamed via Eleven Sports 1. UK TV channel Online stream N/A Eleven Sports 1 Squads & Team News Position Espanyol players Goalkeepers Roberto, Diego Lopez,  Defenders  Rosales, Darder, Didac, Melendo, Javi Lopez, Lluis Lopez Midfielders Piatti, Roca, Hermoso, Granero, Pedrosa, Sanchez Forwards Borja Iglesias, Léo Baptistao, García, Alex Lopez Espanyol are set to be without four defenders for this encounter, though of these absentees only David Lopez is a regular. Naldo Pereira, Oscar Duarte and Adria Pedrosa are also missing.Hernan Perez is their only other selection issue.Confirmed Espanyol starting XI: Diego Lopez; Javi Lopez, Lluis Lopez, Hermoso, Vila; Baptistao,Roca, Darder, Alex Lopez; Iglesisas, Garcia Position Real Madrid players Goalkeepers Courtois, Luca, Altube Defenders Carvajal, Varane, Marcelo, Nacho, Reguilon, Sanchez, Odriozola Midfielders Casemiro, Jaume, Ceballos, Valverde, Brahim, Isco, Asensio Forwards Vazquez, Vinicius Jr, Cristo, Bale, Mariano Real Madrid are boosted by the return of Welsh forward Gareth Bale, who has missed six games since suffering an injury against Villarreal on January, 3.Left-back Mercelo continues on the bench at the expense of Sergio Reguilon.Keylor Navas and Jesus Vallejo are definitely sidelined.Confirmed Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, ViniciusBetting & Match Odds Real Madrid are priced by bet365 at odds of 8/11 to take the win, while a draw is available at 3/1. Espanyol are priced at 7/2.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .Match Preview Sergio Ramos Real Madrid 2018-19Ten points behind defending champions and bitter rivals Barcelona, if Real Madrid are going to stage a storming comeback and claim the Primera Division title, they cannot afford to drop cheap points, which means winning at venues like Espanyol.Under Santiago Solari, they are starting to show signs of the battling spirit and confidence expected of a Madrid team, epitomised quite brilliantly by Sergio Ramos’ Panenka penalty during their midweek Copa del Rey win against Girona.But the creases have not entirely been ironed out, as their recent defeat against Leganes proved. Their road to redemption, therefore, promises to be a long one – and not without bumps.The impressive victory against Sevilla last weekend, achieved thanks to goals from Casemiro and Luka Modric, is the surest sign yet that they are slowly heading in the correct direction. “I try to face each game with the maximum guarantee of winning,” he explained on the eve of this clash. “I want all the players who are involved to be focused and to work with enjoyment. “Espanyol are capable of putting us under pressure and have fast forwards in attack. They’re dangerous and that’s why I’ve repeated so often the need for concentration and to pay attention from the first second.”Their Barcelona-based opponents were also in Copa del Rey action in midweek, drawing the first leg of their quarter-final 1-1 with Real Betis. Rubi’s side, however, have been lamentable in recent weeks in La Liga, losing eight of their last nine matches, dating back to November 11.They would seem, then, ideal prey for a Madrid squad increasing in both strength and confidence.last_img read more