- The white team will lift their 35th League this Saturday if they don’t lose at the Santiago Bernabéu against an almost saved parakeet team
aReal Madrid faces Espanyol at the Bernabéu (4:15 p.m., Spanish time / 3:15 p.m., London time) for the first of the five chances they have to become League champions. A draw is enough for him to make the “match ball” good, as Ancelotti defined this afternoon’s duel. The white team only needs to add one point of the remaining 15 to sing the long-awaited alirón and does not want to wait any longer to lift a title that has been owned for weeks. Vicente Moreno’s team, almost saved, does not want to act as a troupe and lands in Chamartín with the mission of spoiling a party that Madrid and its fans want to turn into the prelude to the infernal comeback atmosphere that awaits City on Wednesday.
The whites are looking for their thirty-fifth crown conditioned by the losses in defense and the need to dose several important pieces with the Champions in mind. Unlike Pep Guardiola, forced to put all the meat on the grill in Leeds (6:30 p.m., Spanish time / 5:30 p.m., London time) to keep the pulse without quarter with Liverpool for the Premier, Ancelotti can afford to do rotations, a luxury within the reach of very few coaches at this stage of the competition.
The center of the merengue defense, in a box
The center back is in the draw because Alaba is out due to injury and Militao and Nacho are suspended, so Ancelotti has no choice but to bet on a Jesús Vallejo who has only played 14 minutes this season. Casemiro, recovered, points to central just as Carletto slipped in a press conference. The sides will be for Lucas Vázquez and Marcelo. The Brazilian will be in charge of lifting the trophy if Madrid is champion and will become the player with the most titles in the history of the white club (24).
Ancelotti has more room for maneuver in midfield, where Camavinga and Dani Ceballos will once again be the starters after their good performances last day at El Sadar. Isco could enter the eleven while in attack, Asensio has a guaranteed place if, as much of Real Madrid is crying out for, Karim Benzema and Vinicius start on the bench thinking about Wednesday’s ‘final’ against Manchester City. Mariano Díaz has many numbers to be the offensive reference and Rodrygo is one of the few who could repeat ownership compared to the Etihad duel last Tuesday.
Espanyol arrives at the event as the stone guest but with the guarantee of having been, together with Getafe and Barcelona, the only team capable of beating Real Madrid in this League. The visiting victory would virtually seal the Blue and Whites’ permanence, it would postpone the alirón and it would be a jug of water for the infernal atmosphere that Madrid and its fans want to create with a view to the comeback attempt against City.
Pedrosa, low parakeet due to gastroenteritis
Among the 23 called up by RCD Espanyol for the visit to the Bernabéu, the absence of left-back Adrià Pedrosa stands out due to gastroenteritis from which he has not been able to recover in time. Vicente Moreno will also not be able to count on midfielder Keidi Bare this Saturday. The Albanian suffers from a strain in his left knee that will knock him out for the remainder of the season. The right back Óscar Gil is also absent, in his case due to a small break in the right anterior rectus.