Real Madrid travel to Catalonia on Sunday evening to face Espanyol, as their hunt for a first La Liga title since 2016/17 continues.
Los Blancos have been in fine form since the restart, with Zinedine Zidane’s men claiming a fourth win in a row with a Sergio Ramos inspired victory over Mallorca on Wednesday.
As for the league’s bottom side Espanyol, they are quickly running out of games to save themselves from relegation.
The Barcelona-based side have lost their last two fixtures – most recently a 1-0 defeat to Real Betis – while they have only one five matches all season.
When Is Kick Off? Sunday 28 June
What Time Is Kick Off? 21:00 (BST)
Where Is It Played? RCDE Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? La Liga TV
The away side may look to make changes for their clash with the league’s bottom club, with the likes of Marco Asensio perhaps in line for a starting berth. Zidane will be without long-term absentees Nacho, Luka Jovic and Lucas Vazquez, while midfield star Luka Modric will miss the match through suspension.
As for the home side, Espanyol will be without defender Sebastian Corchia through injury, yet should be able to welcome back Bernardo Espinosa, Leandro Cabrera and main man Raul de Tomas – who will be keen to face up against his former club.
Espanyol: D Lopez; J Lopez, Espinosa, Cabrera, Vila; Melendo, D Lopez, Roca, Darder; Wu Lei; de Tomas.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Valverde, Kroos, Casemiro; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema.
Since the restart of the league, Espanyol have won just once in four matches – after they defeated Alaves on 13 June. The relegation threatened side have seemingly picked up where they left off before the league suspension, which has left them eight points adrift from safety at the foot of the table – and also out of the Europa League following a defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
As for Madrid, their four wins in a row have seen them rise to the top of the league table, with challengers Barcelona hoping to return to the summit when they face Celta Vigo on Saturday. The club’s pre-lockdown form had seen them lose to both Real Betis and Manchester City, yet they did manage to claim a major foothold in the title race with a 2-0 El Clasico victory.
Here’s a look at the last five matches for both sides:
Real Betis 1-0 Espanyol (25/6)
Espanyol 1-3 Levante (20/6)
Getafe 0-0 Espanyol (16/6)
Espanyol 2-0 Alaves (13/6)
Osasuna 1-0 Espanyol (8/3)
Real Madrid 2-0 Real Mallorca (24/6)
Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid (21/6)
Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia (18/6)
Real Madrid 3-1 Eibar (14/6)
Real Betis 2-1 Real Madrid (8/3)
While everyone loves to see an underdog victory, it does seem highly unlikely in this top versus bottom clash.
The away side look relentless in their pursuit of the title, while the home side are clinging on by their fingernails to top-flight football.
Although Madrid may look to make some changes ahead of a busy run-in, their exceptionally talented squad should prove too much for the hosts.
Prediction: Espanyol 1-4 Real Madrid