Cristiano Ronaldo and the 25-5-5 Whites need a miracle to leapfrog Lionel Messi and Barcelona for the 2012-2013 Spanish La Liga crown. The Parakeets are in their way.
While Real Madrid are on a four-match winning streak, two of their five defeats have come since April. Espanyol enter the showdown having lost two straight games after not suffering a defeat since March 9.
The football clubs faced off earlier this season on Dec. 16, and the match ended 2-2.
Will Espanyol stay within one goal of Real Madrid?
Here is a preview of the La Liga matchup.
Where: Cornella – El Prat, Colombia
When: Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m. ET
Watch: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Espanol
Espanyol Player to Watch: Verdu
Verdu, the Parakeets leading goalscorer, is their best chance to shock the Whites. The midfielder doesn’t attempt many shots, having only done so nine times in the past four matches. He still managed to score two of the club’s five goals in those matches.
Espanyol’s upset odds will skyrocket if he puts a dent in the scoreboard.
Real Madrid Player to Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo has accounted for five goals in the Whites’ past two matches, scoring two goals against Valladolid and a goal and two assists against Malaga. Trailing Messi by 12 goals, Ronaldo won’t catch him for the top scorer by season’s end, but he’s on pace to put even more distance between himself and Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao for No. 2.
He scored one goal in the clubs’ earlier meeting this campaign.
Matchup to Watch: Diego Lopez vs. Sergio Garcia
Malaga launched two footballs past Lopez into the Real Madrid net, while the goalie finished with just a single save. He also surrendered three goals against Valladolid.
Garcia must take advantage of his inconsistency. He’s second on Espanyol in goals scored with seven and assists with five. Garcia accounted for three of the Parakeets' last five goals.
He also scored in their December bout.
Real Madrid 4, Espanyol 2
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.