Real Madrid have the chance to seal the La Liga title when they host Espanyol on Saturday afternoon.
Los Blancos need just a point to claim their second league title in three years with four games to spare, and they’ll fancy their chances of getting at least that against an Espanyol side who are nine points clear of the relegation zone, sitting a comfortable 13th.
Here’s all you need to know about Real’s potential coronation.
When is kick off? Saturday 30 April, 15:15 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Santiago Bernabeu
TV channel/live stream? LaLigaTV (UK), ESPN+ (USA)
Highlights? La Liga YouTube
The fates have conspired to rob Carlo Ancelotti of his three first-choice centre-backs this weekend.
David Alaba has been forced off at half-time in Real’s last two matches as he struggles with adductor discomfort. It’s unlikely Carlo Ancelotti will risk him with the second leg of Real’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City on the horizon.
Both Nacho Fernandez and Eder Militao are suspended after picking up their fifth yellow cards of the season against Osasuna last weekend.
Casemiro would be a natural option to slot into the backline but was only fit enough to sit on the bench against Manchester City in midweek after missing the trip to Pamplona.
The club’s lesser-spotted backup strikers Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz are doubts with a groin injury and physical discomfort respectively while Miguel Gutierrez is struggling with muscular problems and Eden Hazard is typically unavailable.
Espanyol will have gone nine days without a match before lining up against Real Madrid this weekend. Vicente Moreno is expected to be able to select from a fully fit and well rested squad, although midfielder Keidi Bare will face a late fitness test after a knee injury limited his training in the build-up to this game.
While the memory of Espanyol’s victory over Real earlier this season is one to be cherished, it’s unlikely they will be able to replicate it, even with Real’s decimated backline.
Ancelotti isn’t particularly in favour of sweeping changes even with the prospect of City’s visit looming. However, the few individuals he trusts to come in are favourites to overcome the hardly threatening foe that is Espanyol away from home, a club that have collected just one win and eight points from 18 games on the road all season.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Espanyol