Real Madrid vs. Espanyol live stream

Real Madrid possible XI

Gareth Bale is a notable absentee from Real Madrid's 18-man squad to face Espanyol, with the Welshman having failed to shake off a knock.

Real Madrid may have won two successive Champions Leagues and the La Liga title last season, but their league form this campaign has been very poor. It is a strain, so nothing too significant. We know that even though we have the best players that does not mean we can win every game by three or four goals.

Real Madrid returned to winning ways last weekend with victory over Alaves in La Liga.

Second place could be enough to earn Chris Coleman's team a place in the play-offs, which will see eight of the nine runners up in qualifying groups play for four remaining places in Russian Federation 2018.

Zinedine Zidane: "We will see tomorrow [how Gareth Bale is]".

"We would love to play all our games here at the Bernabeu", he said. We don't live in the past and what has happened has happened. "It [Ronaldo's contract] is a club issue and I'm not getting involved in it".

GOP tax plan short on details
"That's happened after business tax cuts made by Coalition and Labor governments", he said. "I don't benefit. It's therefore no surprise that Trump's tax plan directs almost all its overall benefits to the wealthy.

Keeping Madrid frustrated and winless at home for as long as possible will be the goal of all of La Liga, and it's going to be interesting to see what it takes for the defending Champions League winners to break that ill fortune.

Real made no announcement on the injury, which was originally thought to only be a cramp, but Zidane said Bale had a small calf strain. Gareth Bale is a doubt and may not be risked ahead of the worldwide break where he will surely feature for Wales, with qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the line.

Victor Sanchez, Pablo Piatti and Hernan Perez have dropped out of the squad that beat Depor, with Alvaro Vazquez, Naldo and Javi Fuego coming in.

TALKING POINT - Was this the start of Real Madrid's recovery?

Despite Real Madrid's relatively rocky start, Bale has started the season in good form, scoring against Real Sociedad recently and also against Borussia Dortmund. After one game Real led the table but home defeats to Athletic and Oviedo, followed by draws against Betis and Barcelona and a 4-3 defeat at Mestalla, left the side managed by Jorge Valdano languishing in 15th.

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