Over the last couple of years, Espanyol have quietly been one of the more fun sides in La Liga, even if their finishing places in the standings haven't always quite reflected that. This season, though, they've started their campaign struggling badly, with just two points through three matches -- and their journey won't get any easier facing a red-hot team in Real Madrid.
Real will stand alone atop La Liga with a win or a draw in this match, and everyone knows that even away from home, Zinedine Zidane's side will push for a win from the first whistle. The defending Champions League winners are in fantastic form, easily winning their first three league matches this season, and doing just enough to overcome an excellent performance from Sporting Clube de Portugal for a late win in the Champions League earlier in the week. They're incredibly talented, as all Real Madrid teams are, but more than that, this team is driven to find as much success as possible, no matter what it takes.
Given Zidane's side an edge that hasn't always been there for this club in the past, and it's an edge that Espanyol won't be eager to face given their struggles this season. In years past they may have been able to look to be able to step up against a tired Real side worn out by midweek Champions League action, but this time the Real Madrid side they face is focused and deeper than they're used to -- and that almost certainly won't end well for Espanyol.
To watch this match online in the U.S. you can stream it on beIN Sports Connect. The match won't be shown online in Spain, but for listings in other countries you can check out LiveSoccerTV.
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. - English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Canal+ Partidazo, Movistar+ (Spain), Sky Sports 1/HD, 3/HD (U.K.)
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: RCDE Stadium, Barcelona, Spain