Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui claims Espanyol represent ‘the most demanding match we’ll have had at the Santiago Bernabeu’.
Espanyol beat Madrid 1-0 in the sides’ last meeting back in February, and Lopetegui warned rotations were afoot, with the game Los Blancos’ first of five over the next fortnight.
“It’s going to be a very demanding game, I have no doubt about it,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“Espanyol have improved a lot and are complete in many aspects of the game. They’ll have prepared for the match thoroughly all week.
“They have a great Coach. It’s the most demanding match we’ll have had at the Bernabeu. We try to make the best decisions for the team in every game, knowing that the squad will be used every week.
“We treat each game as it comes, always looking to make the best decisions with our opponents in mind, taking into account our wear and how we recover.
“With seven games in such a short time, rotating makes more sense. We’ve used the squad as we’ve seen fit.
“We’ll only know our XI on Saturday because the team only played on Wednesday and we have to wait before we can make certain decisions.
“Football isn’t just about starting XIs. Fourteen play in each game and for teams who want to win everything, every player is important and are capable of putting our ideas into practices.
“We don’t live by criticism, whether it’s good or bad. We live by our analyses and the team had a good match against Roma.
“When you watch it back, you see things to correct so you can improve. Still, that match is over, it’s history and the important one now is Espanyol.
“The goalkeepers are training phenomenally and competing well. There’s normality and naturalness between them, much more than what can be seen outside.
“Things are much simpler in a professional sense that what people want to see outside. I’m delighted with the professionalism of the three lads.”