After an emphatic 5-2 win over Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti’s side then drew 1-1 with ten-man Atletico Madrid, lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and then managed just a 0-0 league draw against Real Betis.
That means victory is at home for an Espanyol team currently in 13th place. Ancelotti will have to bear in mind that the second leg against Liverpool is just a few days later.
Real Madrid team news
There are some problems in defence for Los Blancos. They are still without David Alaba and Ferland Mendy, two candidates to play at left-back, so Nacho Fernandez will continue to get game time.
There is a muscular issue for Karim Benzema so he could be rested so he can face Liverpool, while Antonio Rudiger also has a knock. That could mean Nacho moves into the middle and Eduardo Camavinga provides cover at left-back. Ancelotti also welcomes Luka Modric back from injury.
Real Madrid predicted lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Camavinga; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius.
Espanyol team news
There are still a number of injury issues for Espanyol to deal with when they make the trip south. Dani Gomez, Adria Pedrosa and Keidi Bare were all out for their last match against Real Valladolid and they are expected to remain absent for this match.
Alongside those absentees, Brian Olivan may also be out after he suffered a knock in the Valladolid game. That means Ronael Pierre-Gabriel could come into the starting lineup against the champions.
Espanyol predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Pacheco; Gil, Montes, S Gomez, Pierre-Gabriel; Darder, Vinicius; Puado, Suarez, Braithwaite; Joselu.