With the greatest of respect to Espanyol, if ever there was a fixture where Real Madrid were virtually guaranteed the three points, this is it.
Los Blancos love playing against the Periquitos, one of their most accommodating opponents of recent times.
Per Fussball Wettpoint, Real have won the last seven games between the sides in all competitions, scoring 19 and conceding just two. Espanyol have also failed to net a win at the Santiago Bernabeu this century. That is the size of the task facing Constantin Galca's men. Let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this match.
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In Zidane's image
It's been entirely noticeable that the majority of Real's players are much more comfortable playing under club legend Zinedine Zidane than they were under Rafael Benitez.
Although sacking Benitez was an unpopular decision outside of the club, Florentino Perez might just have saved, and reignited, Real's season.
There certainly can't be any complaints at this stage.
The Frenchman is allowing his side to play with the swagger for which they are known, rather than being hampered by the overly defensive nature of his predecessor.
The team is very much in Zidane's own image and if he can keep the wins coming, there's every chance that Real will be in the shake up come the end of the campaign.
Expect more of the same here.
The way in which Galca sent his troops out to tame the Blaugrana beast wasn't too well received by Barcelona, but loved by the Periquito faithful.
Call it a hatchet job, call it going in hard or call it a defensive masterclass.
The vigour with which Espanyol stuck to their task against Barca in three games over 11 days was laudable.
Although they weren't ultimately successful, the supporters and management team could only praise the non-stop effort of their players.
That's the kind of battle-hardened performance the visitors need to show here to be in with any chance of a shock result.
Knock Madrid out of their stride and then we'll see the true face of Zidane.
It was in this fixture at the Power8 Stadium earlier in the season that Cristiano Ronaldo broke Real Madrid's all-time scoring record.
A five-goal haul and one for Karim Benzema in a 6-0 trouncing of their opponents, placed the Portuguese well and truly in the history books.
In a rich vein of scoring form at the present moment, there's every reason to expect that Ronaldo will add to his goals tally here.
What do you think the outcome of the game will be? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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