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Real Madrid vs Espanyol LIVE Football Score 30/04/2022

Real Madrid vs Espanyol LIVE Football Score 30/04/2022

Real Madrid will welcome Espanyol to Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon knowing that a point would be enough to win the La Liga title with four matches to spare. Los Blancos will enter the contest off the back of a 4-3 defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Manchester, while Espanyol, who are 13th in Spain’s top flight on 39 points, suffered a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano in the league last time out. Real Madrid have been, by a distance, the best team in La Liga this season, winning 24, drawing six and losing three of their 33 matches to collect 78 points, which has left them 15 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona.

As a result, a point against Espanyol on Sunday would be enough for them to be confirmed as Spanish champions for the 35th time in their history and allow them to enter their final four league games of the season against Atletico Madrid, Levante, Cadiz and Real Betis under no pressure. Los Blancos have work to do in the Champions League semi-finals, though, following their 4-3 defeat to Man City in the first leg on Tuesday night; in truth, the La Liga outfit could have been blown away in the first half, but they managed to stay in the clash, with Karim Benzema netting twice during another brilliant performance.

The second leg of the last-four clash takes place at Bernabeu next Wednesday, so it will be fascinating to see how head coach Carlo Ancelotti approaches this match, with the Italian looking to balance keeping his players fresh with potentially suffering a morale-damaging result. Real Madrid will win La Liga regardless of what happens against Espanyol this weekend, but they will fancy their chances of getting the job done in front of their own supporters, with the capital giants boasting the best home record in Spain’s top flight this term, picking up 37 points from 16 matches, while the league leaders are currently on a run of four straight league victories.

The games continue to come thick and fast across Europe as we enter the business end of 2021/22. Matchday 34 in La Liga gets underway this weekend, and Real Madrid could clinch the league title when they play hosts to Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.

The 2021/22 season has been memorable for Real Madrid, with Los Blancos producing a much-improved performance this term after a tough 2020/21 campaign. The Merengues are destined to reclaim La Liga supremacy, needing only one more point to clinch the title after opening a 15-point lead atop the standings. Carlo Ancelotti’s charges after also in contention to reach the UEFA Champions League final, with their semi-final tie with Manchester City delicately poised.

On the other hand, Espanyol’s return to La Liga has been a happy one, with the Catalan outfit straying clear of the relegation battle. While they are not mathematically safe yet, Vicente Moreno’s men will unlikely get dragged into the drop zone unless something drastic happens. That said, the Periquitos have won only one of their last four games, putting them in a spot of bother.

Espanyol won the reverse fixture 2-1, with Raul de Tomas and Aleix Vidal finding the back of the net, while Karim Benzema scored the consolation goal. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.

Carlo Ancelotti has a multitude of roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Espanyol. On Saturday, the Real Madrid manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players due to injuries and suspension.

Defence is the worst-hit area in the squad, with David Alaba recovering from a minor muscle injury. At the same time, Nacho and Eder Militao will serve one-match suspensions. In addition to the central defensive trio, Eden Hazard (ankle) and Luka Jovic (groin) are also on the sidelines due to their respective fitness issues.

In the absence of Alaba, Militao and Nacho, Jesus Vallejo will get a rare chance to impress. The Spanish defender will line up alongside Mario Gila at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, with Marcelo and Lucas Vazquez completing a second-string defensive unit that will protect Thibaut Courtois.

Up ahead in midfield, Casemiro is back in the matchday squad after recovering from his injury. But the Brazilian international will unlikely make the starting eleven, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric also expected to be rested, with Ancelotti keeping one eye on the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg next week.

Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Dani Ceballos will thus form a dynamic central midfield trifecta against Espanyol. Karim Benzema might also get a breather, with Mariano Diaz spearheading the Real Madrid attack, while Rodrygo Goes and Marco Asensio should be the two wide men. Espanyol will be hoping to spoil the party this weekend, but the Catalan outfit will enter the match off the back of a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Rayo Vallecano on April 21.

A total of 39 points from 33 matches has left Vicente Moreno’s side in 13th position in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone, so they are going to be a top-flight side again next term unless something incredible happens in the final weeks of the campaign. Espanyol won last season’s Segunda Division to secure an immediate return to this level, and they should be looking up the division rather than down, sitting just three points behind 10th-placed Valencia. The White and Blues have struggled away from home this season, though, picking up just eight points from 16 matches, which is the third-worst record in the division, while they have won just once on their travels.

Espanyol actually beat Real Madrid 2-1 when the two teams locked horns for the reverse match back in October, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat on their last visit to Bernabeu in December 2019 and will certainly be the underdogs heading into this weekend’s clash in the capital.

Real Madrid boss Ancelotti has big decisions to make this weekend in terms of rotation, with the Spanish giants welcoming Man City to Bernabeu for the second leg of their European Cup semi-final next week.

Los Blancos will be hoping that Casemiro can start the second leg following his injury issues, so it would be a huge surprise to see the midfielder this weekend, while Ferland Mendy could be rested. Nacho and Eder Militao are both suspended, so Jesus Vallejo could feature alongside Dani Carvajal in the middle of the defence. Luka Modric could also drop out of the midfield to allow Eduardo Camavinga to start, but Ancelotti’s biggest call involves Benzema, who has enjoyed a remarkable campaign for the club.

The France international has had his injury problems in recent weeks, so it would not be a surprise to see him start on the bench, with Rodrygo, Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior potentially playing as a front three. Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and David Alaba will miss out through injury, but Mariano Diaz is back in the squad.

Espanyol, meanwhile, will be without Keidi Bare due to a knee injury, but the visitors are otherwise in excellent shape, and they will certainly be the fresher of the two teams heading into the contest. Head coach Moreno is likely to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack from the defeat to Rayo last time out, with a front three again set to include leading goalscorer Raul de Tomas, in addition to Javi Puado and Tonny Vilhena.

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