The first of the Madrid – Barcelona city head-to-head double header sees Espanyol make the trip to the capital to face Real. Jose Mourinho’s side suffered another loss away from home midweek – their sixth of the season – as they fell to Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie.
A goal from Cristiano Ronaldo kept hopes of progression alive but having fielded a strong line-up, Mourinho needs a win this weekend to boost confidence in the squad and curb talk of his ever more expected exit at the end of the season.
And that win looks highly likely. The Portuguese manager would struggle to hand pick an easier fixture in La Liga than Espanyol at the Bernabeu. Barcelona’s less esteemed club sit second bottom in the table, with only goal difference keeping them above Deportivo.
Javier Aguirre’s side have failed to win in their last six games and have lost the last seven meetings with Real Madrid – all without scoring a single goal whilst conceding twenty.
It is no surprise then that Real Madrid are strong favourites to take the three points with 2/17 (BetVictor) the best price on offer. The 22/1 (Ladbrokes) against Espanyol getting their first win at the Bernabeu since 1996 may seem long but we are still not tempted.
Madrid won last season’s meetings 5-0 and 4-0 and we expect a similarly dominant display from the champions. We therefore like the 7/4 (Bet365) against a win by at least four goals.
As mentioned, Espanyol have not only lost their last seven games against Madrid, they have done so without scoring so the 10/11 (Paddy Power) on a home win to nil looks far too big, particularly when other firms go as short as 4/9.