Real Madrid vs Espanyol

Real Madrid must pick theirselves up from Copa del Rey defeat at home to hungry for points Espanyol.

Los Blancos lost the first leg of their last 16 tie against Celta Vigo 2-1 at Balaidos on Wednesday night. They can’t afford to dwell on that result as with Barcelona taking on Atletico Madrid on Sunday evening, this earlier kick off gives Jose Mourinho’s men an invaluable opportunity to close on the top two.

Visitors Espanyol have made a steady start under Javier Aguirre, drawing their two games since the Mexican took charge, but draws aren’t much use when you’re stuck in the drop zone. Midfielder Sergio Garcia believes Los Pericos can take direct inspiration from Celta’s example.

“Celta are the example, they played well and all through the game they were running. They were fortunate in front of goal and so we must also seize the opportunities that we have.”

Kick off: Sunday December 16, 6.00 (BST)