The champion must take revenge against a Espanyol under construction

Matchday 3

Ancelotti recovers Kroos and Rodrygo to overcome a traditionally friendly rival but who defeated him last year

Ignatius Tyko

“The team dynamic is good and we are prepared for a game that we lost last year. Espanyol is a team that fights and we need to get the best out of it to win", warned the pragmatic and experienced Carlo Ancelotti in the run-up to Real Madrid's league clash at Espanyol's fiefdom. Neither the conquest of the European Super Cup, nor the two recent victories at home against Almería and Celta, nor his recent election by UEFA as the best coach of last year, modify the tempered, cautious and always respectful speech with the rival of the Italian technician.

His extensive experience always marks the script and tells him that football has no memory. His Real Madrid achieved a historic double last season and have started with two wins away from home, but although the "dynamics are good", in this game things often change from one moment to another without apparent explanation. A priori, however, the merengue team is a clear favorite against a traditionally friendly opponent, to the point of being considered historically by the ill-considered almost as a subsidiary of Madrid in Barcelona.

From the infirmary, in addition, good news arrives for the whites, who recover Kroos and Rodrygo for the appointment, although Nacho, Vallejo and Odriozola are out. The German midfielder has overcome the flu process that prevented him from performing last weekend in Balaídos and the Brazilian striker has left behind the muscular discomfort he had suffered since the Super Cup.

A Rodrygo who, by the way, Carletto confirmed that he has won more games as a starter this season after his unusual prominence in the previous year starting from the bench. Goes can not only occupy the right profile of the attack but also rest Vinicius and even Karim Benzema.

market slopes

The market, which will close at midnight on September 1, one day later than usual, continues to set the tone. However, he tries to avoid distractions in his Ancelotti squad and congratulates all those players whose continuity at the club is not clear. He confessed that Marco Asensio, who has one more year left on his contract, is evaluating whether to leave or not, but added that there will be no reinforcements if the Balearic emigrates. He anticipated that Dani Ceballos will continue in Madrid, despite Betis' notable interest in signing him, and the coach limited himself to saying that the Hispanic-Dominican has it complicated with "the best striker in the world" ahead of him.

With more points and better results so far than the game, thus continuing the pattern of the previous triumphant campaign, the duel at the RCDE Stadium will again serve to analyze to what extent Madrid can accuse Casemiro's last-minute exit. Ancelotti acknowledged this Saturday that he felt sorry for the Brazilian's departure, but for now the newcomer Tchouaméni has successfully jumped on the bandwagon of the winners.

For Espanyol, still very pending to be able to strengthen themselves in the last days of the market and to assimilate the new ideas of Diego Martínez, this match represents a major challenge and a great opportunity to add the first victory after a hesitant start. The parakeets began adding a promising draw in Balaídos (2-2), but on the following day they failed in their feud against the showy and daring Rayo de Iraola (0-2).

«Playing against Madrid never comes at a good time, but it is always good to face the best to get the best out of you. We have to focus our energy on competing with our best version. It is a rival that has been improved, and with the confidence of the previous year. It is a challenge”, analyzed the Galician coach in the run-up to a highly demanding appointment in which Raúl de Tomás suffered the loss.

Likely lineups

  • Spanish:
    Lecomte, Óscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Brian Oliván, Expósito, Vinicius Souza, Rubén Sánchez, Darder, Nico Melamed and Joselu.

  • Real Madrid:
    Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Tchouaméni, Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius.

  • Referee:
    Melero López (Andalusian Committee).

  • Time/TV:
    10:00 p.m. Movistar LaLiga.

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