Real Madrid v Espanyol – Betting Preview
Real Madrid Summary
Real Madrid comes into the game fully focused and determined to overcome Espanyol and maintain some kind of pressure on Barcelona.
Their eternal rival put two more points on their lead over them with Madrid drawing away in Betis, a disappointing 0-0 where they merited more.
They face Liverpool in the second leg midweek where barring miracles, is just a matter of going through the motions as they will feel they are already in the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League.
Looking at team news now. Real Madrid has Modric back from a suspension but the sense is that he will be kept on ice for midweek.
Just in case Liverpool score early, they want the Croatian’s composure and quality to see them through the evening 100% fresh.
Ancelotti will also leave Benzema on the bench and Rodrygo gets a shot at playing the centre forward role.
This is a big downgrade on potential goals, the only area Rodrygo excels in compared to the Frenchman is dribbling, as shown by the radar visual below.
Alaba and Mendy remain available due to knocks, neither serious and both in line to recoup soon for the club.
The win two weekends ago against Elche was huge for the club. It boosted confidence and eased fears of the drop as it took them from 17th spot up into 12th, where they remain now despite a loss to Real Valladolid last time out.
The Catalans may sit in midtable but due to some relegation fighting clubs winning below them last weekend, they have been drawn closer to the drop zone.
The gap between Espanyol and 18th placed Almeria before the La Liga 2022/23 Round begins is a mere two points.
March is a crucial month with winnable games outside of this. They would be in dreamland if they could grab a point from Real Madrid, but the reality sit that nothing is expected of them, and so Espanyol will play without pressure but motivation is good nonetheless.
Looking at team news now.
Espanyol travel to the Santiago Bernabeu without Pedrosa and almost certain not to be able to call on Gori, Keidi Baré and Dani Gómez, although none have been ruled out.
Brian Oliván is another big doubt, and he is the only one whose absence would directly harm their best XI. The boss is keen to wait until the last minute to see how the Injury develops. At best he is a 50/50.
Looking at the 1×2 market first. Real Madrid is huge favourites @ 1.27 and it would be a total shock if they did not win, even with a weakened XI. Espanyol is the outsider @ 12.0 and the draw is @ 6.00.
Moving onto the Asian handicap betting for this contest. Madrid -1.75 is @ 2.02 and although they are missing key man Benzema and Modric will begin as a sub, they have the ability to win this by two.
Espanyol +1.75 is @ 1.85; their best hope is that Madrid ease off once a couple ahead so it can stay competitive or even better, they snatch a goal. Easy pass.
Looking at The Under/Over goal line last of all. Over 3 is @ 2.03. For reasons outlined in the Asian handicap section, goals are not assured if Real Madrid ease off the gas. They face Liverpool midweek and that is a negative factor on goals. Another easy pass.