Predicted XI: Real Madrid to field strongest available team against Espanyol

La Liga Matchday 1 preview: The new season begins with tricky tests for the title challengers  

Espanyol might have had a tricky start to the season, but Carlo Ancelotti is not going to take them lightly.

Real Madrid travel to Barcelona to face Espanyol at 21:30 CEST on Sunday, with the chance to keep a 100% record and maintain Real Betis’ early pace. Espanyol are winless so far and struggled last weekend against Rayo Vallecano.

Diario AS believe that Los Blancos will come out with more or less their strongest line-up for the tie.

Aurelien Tchouameni will continue in midfield following the departure of Casemiro. Back from a cold, Toni Kroos should replace Eduardo Camavinga in midfield and otherwise it will be the same line-up that started last season’s Champions League final. Their only doubt is whether Rodrygo Goes, who is coming back from injury, will start in place of Fede Valverde on the right side of attack.

Below are the teams that Marca are predicting. Their only discrepancy is that they believe Valverde will start ahead of Rodrygo.

For Espanyol, Sergi Gomez is suspended, while Raul de Tomas, Adria Pedrosa and Pol Lozano are all missing through injury. Defenders Alvaro Odriozola, Nacho Fernandez and Jesus Vallejo are absent for Ancelotti.


Espanyol: Lecomte; Óscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Olivan; Edu Expósito, Souza, Darder; Rubén Saez, Joselu, Puado.

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.

Source by Football Espana

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