Espanyol v Real Madrid – Sunday 7:45pm, Sky Sports 1
Espanyol certainly have quality in their squad as seven goals in their opening three games illustrates, but shipping nine themselves suggests they are yet to coherently bond as a unit. Indeed, after their 1-1 draw with Sociedad, manager Quique Sanchez Flores insisted they were still a work in progress, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the visit of Real Madrid, whom they lost 6-0 to twice last season.
Real staged a dramatic late comeback in the Champions League mid-week, which included a rare Ronaldo free-kick success – his first in 43 attempts for club and country. The Portuguese superstar also scored six minutes into his comeback in a 5-2 rout against Osasuna last week, as Real remain the only side in the division with a 100% record. Those three triumphs are part of a 15-match winning streak, that already has Zinedine Zidane in the club’s record books as their joint best winning run and victory here will see them share the league record with rivals Barcelona, who managed 16 consecutive victories back in 2010/11.
Eight of these 15 wins have seen at least four strikes, as have seven of the last 10 meetings between these two and as a result we’re backing Real to Win and Over 3.5 Goals. We can’t envisage Espanyol spoiling the party but there are goals in their team under Flores, so they can certainly add to it. They’ve already been involved in a 6-4 this term and we could be in for another high scorer here.