Zidane looks to Lucas, Morata and Asensio for Espanyol clash
With no BBC at the RCDE stadium this evening, Zidane looks to his younger players in a game where James Rodriguez is expected to start.
Espanyol v Real Madrid: RCDE Stadium: 2045 (CET) kick off:
Espanyol welcome Real Madrid to their Cornella El Prat ground this evening as Quique Sanchez Flores' side search for their first win of the new campaign. Zidane will be without the BBC, but buoyed on by the dramatic win on Wednesday night as his side snatched a late win against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. The French coach also stands to equal the record of 16 straight LaLiga wins, a record currently held by Guardiola during his tenure at FC Barcelona.
It's been far from an ideal start for the new Espanyol project headed by Quique Sánchez Flores and the former Watford coach has yet to record a win with the Barcelona based side. His team lie in the lower reaches of the table following a defeat to Sevilla and two drawn games against Málaga and Real Sociedad. The coach must do without key players such as Javi Fuego, Salva Sevilla and José Manuel Jurado but can call upon the likes of José Antonio Reyes, Felipe Caicedo and defender Martin Demichelis to bolster his side. Despite the negative start for the "budgies" they have proved to be one of the most effective league sides scoring on the seven times out of ten when they have had a shot on target.
Currently tied with Barça at the summit of the league table, Madrid travel to the Catalan capital without key strikers: Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Welsh star has yet to recover from the knock he sustained in the Champions League game and Cristiano is suffering with flu. Zidane did confirm that he intends to bring in James Rodriguez from the wilderness and the Colombian is set to start his first game for 133 days. The French coach will also be hoping to equal the record of straight wins in LaLiga with a win at the RCDE Stadium being 16 wins on the bounce for Real Madrid. "We face a good side and realize that it will be far from easy. We've rested after Wednesday and are ready", cited the French coach in his pre match address to the media.
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