7 December 2019
Real Madrid and Espanyol will face off at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in contrasting circumstances. While the hosts sit top of the La Liga (LL), level on points with Barcelona, the visitors are fighting tooth and nail to escape from the relegation territory.
The hosts seem to be moving through the gears, as they’ve racked up an eight-game unbeaten competitive streak (W6, D2), keeping a clean sheet in five of those games during that run. More importantly, Los Blancos seem to have rediscovered their ‘killer instinct’ in the final third, scoring at least two goals in six of their last seven matches in all competitions. Additionally, Zinedine Zidane’s men have netted 2+ match goals in eight of their previous nine competitive home outings, scoring an average of three goals per game during that period. Big pre-match favorites, the Madrid giants have won all six of their previous LL H2Hs with Espanyol at this venue, keeping a blank sheet in the last five.
Meanwhile, the visitors are going through a rough period, having lost four of their last five LL fixtures (D1). While three of their defeats in that sequence saw them concede at least three goals, only one saw them score more than once. It’s been a dismal start to the season for Espanyol, who lost ten of their opening 15 league outings (W2, D3), and deservedly sit five points adrift of the safe zone. Curiously though, eight of their total nine LL points have come away from home, with both of their road defeats arriving against the sides sitting in the bottom half of the table ahead of this round. But, for Espanyol, goals have been at a premium so far, as they’ve drawn a blank in three of seven LL road trips, scoring precisely one goal per match in three of the remaining four.
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