Real Madrid team news, injuries, suspensions, predicted XI vs Espanyol
Real Madrid can clinch the Spanish league title when they face Espanyol at the Bernabéu on Saturday.
Real Madrid take on Espanyol at the Bernabéu at 10:15am ET on Saturday, knowing they will succeed Atlético Madrid as LaLiga champions if they avoid defeat. Coincidentally, Madrid visit Atlético in their next league game, so if they seal the title this weekend, they could be in line for a guard of honour from their city rivals.
Real Madrid to rest players and hit by injuries, suspensions
Before going to the Wanda, though, Madrid host Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League last four on Wednesday, and must turn around a 4-3 deficit if they are to progress to the final. It seems clear that Los Blancos’ crunch clash with City will have an impact on Carlo Ancelotti’s team selection against Espanyol.
Madrid also go into Saturday’s match with enforced absences in defence, with David Alaba injured, and Éder Militao and Nacho Fernández both suspended. Without the trio of centre-backs, Jesús Vallejo is likely to start in central defence, having hardly played at all this term, while his partner at the heart of a makeshift backline is expected to be midfielder Casemiro. At full-back, Lucas Vázquez and Marcelo are in line to start in place of the rested Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy.
In midfield, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are available, but are also expected to be rested, as Ancelotti opts for a more youthful engine room than usual. Eduardo Camavinga is set to deputise for Casemiro at anchorman, with Dani Ceballos and either Isco or Fede Valverde either side of the Frenchman.
And in attack, the major doubt surrounds Karim Benzema: will the striker play, despite the risk of an injury ruling him out of the second leg against City, or could he make way for Mariano Díaz? Benzema cannot be replaced by Luka Jovic, who misses out through injury together with Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale. Saturday’s match seemed like a good opportunity for the Welshman to get game time, but he was not included in the matchday group after complaining of back trouble. Rodrygo Goes and Marco Asensio are likely to start on the wings, with Vinícius Júnior rested.
Real Madrid’s expected XI against Espanyol:
Courtois; Lucas Vázquez, Vallejo, Casemiro, Marcelo; Isco/Valverde, Camavinga, Ceballos; Asensio, Benzema/Mariano, Rodrygo.
Real Madrid vs Espanyol: live AS USA coverage
Viewers in the US will be able to watch Real Madrid’s game against Espanyol on ESPN+. You’ll also be able follow the action with AS USA: Paul Reidy will be providing live-text coverage, with build-up beginning about an hour ahead of kick-off in the Spanish capital.