Cristiano Ronaldo has assured the Real Madrid nation that the title race isn’t over yet. After Barca’s draw against Sporting Gijon in Asturias on Saturday, Madrid has been granted a breath of fresh air. Can Mourinho capitalize on this rare Barca tie? Real Madrid will travel to Catalunya tomorrow to take on Espanyol who have won all but two of their league games at Cornella el Prat this season. Their only losses at home this year have come to Barcelona and Villarreal. “Los Blancos” know that they must gain the 3 points at this critical point in league play. News this week regarding Madrid has mostly been focused around Emmanuel Adebayor who has made an immediate impact after coming over from Manchester City (2 goals in 2 games) and the future of Catalunya’s favourite child, Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish national team midfielder who plays and starts for Arsenal has been linked to Real Madrid who will make a 54 million-pound ($86 million) move to sign him in the summer transfer period. Fellow mates Xavi and Victor Valdes have vehemently stated that they could never imagine Fabregas in a white uniform and that it’s only a matter of time before he heads back to the Nou Camp.
Getting back to Real Madrid’s task at hand, it’s important to note that Pepe might be back in the starting lineup but it’ll be a gametime decision and Ricardo Carvalho could come off the bench , too, meaning that the probable starting defenders will be Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, and Marcelo. “Espanyol” or “los periquitos” will miss the services of Ivan de la Pena, Felipe Mattioni, David Garcia and Dani Osvaldo for the match. Osvaldo has scored 7 goals to make up for the loss of all time goals scoring leader Raul Tamudo who left for Real Sociedad last year. Luis Garcia is also an important player for the 6th in the league team because he’s showed his leadership skills this year with 5 assists. If Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Kaka, Ozil, Angel di Maria, etc. can make their way into Espanyol’s defense tomorrow, Juan Forlin will be the defender to first step up and try to deter their efforts. This defender is one of the top “la liga” recipients of yellow cards and plays extremely aggressively.
Real Madrid won their matchup back in September 3-0 in the Bernabeau and Mourinho seems more than focused than over in conquering both the league race and the CL task at hand after he helped his team lock up an April 20th meeting with Barcelona for the “king’s cup” title game in Valencia’s stadium “the Mestalla”. Mourinho travelled this week to France to “spy” aka “scout” an Olimpique Lyon match ahead of the upcoming CL matches. Since Higuain is out with a back injury, it’ll be up to Benzema and Ronaldo to repeat the way the merengues played the last time these teams fought when they locked heads back in September. Those three Madridistas scored the goals in the previous match against Espanyol. The Catalan team is known as being disciplined with a solid structure and very dependent on their excellent goalkeeper, Kameni, who loves to stretch out for big saves and is very vocal. They also have Callejon up front and Galan in the back who are both two important periquito players who will make their presence felt. I predict a 2-1 victory with CR7 and Ozil finding the back of the net. Hala Madrid!
About the Author
Written by Timothy Ashe Jr.
Tim was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and also holds University English Language Excellence certificates. He's fluent in Spanish and teaches both English and Spanish in his spare time. He's a Real Madrid and Chicago Fire aficionado and is partial towards the EPL and LFP. His hope is that the game of soccer can continue to grow in the U.S.A. and for our men's national team to eventually win the World Cup.