News | 28/06/2020 | Alberto NavarroThe team head to the RCDE Stadium for the first of seven remaining finals in the LaLiga title race (10:00pm CEST).
Zidane's team will be hoping to finish this latest round of games top of the pile once again. The Whites will kick-off in the clash one point down, but a win will see them increase their lead at the summit following Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Celta yesterday. To do so, they'll have to continue a fine run of form that has helped them become the only side to have won every single game since the competition's resumption. It's four successive wins so far (Éibar, Valencia, Real Sociedad and Mallorca), looking today for number five.
The Whites' clash at the RCDE Stadium is the first of their four remaining games on the road (Athletic, Granada and Leganés are the others) and Zidane has called up a squad of 23 players - the 20 available from the first team plus academy products Altube, Javi Hernández and Miguel Gutiérrez. The Frenchman has got Casemiro back at his disposal following his suspension against Mallorca due to accumulated yellow cards, but he'll be without Modric and Mendy, suspended for this one, plus the injured Nacho, Lucas Vázquez and Jović.
The meanest defence
“The Espanyol game is another cup final and we'll have to go all out”, Zidane said in the pre-match press conference. His side have conceded the least goals in the competition to date, at just 21 (0.65 per game) and Courtois, who has let in only 18, leads the race for the Zamora trophy. But the madridista defence is also excelling up the other end, having netted 13 LaLiga goals between Ramos (8), Varane (2), Carvajal, Marcelo and Nacho.
Espanyol come into the game sitting bottom and eight points from safety at the start of match day 32. They also have a new coach at the helm in the form of sporting director Rufete, who takes the place of Abelardo after he was dismissed yesterday. Despite having lost the last two, their home statistics reflect a rather different reality, with just one defeat in their last eight games (three wins and four draws). Madridista academy product De Tomás, and Wu Lei, are the team's leading LaLiga goalscorers with 4 apiece.