Real Madrid will be desperate to close the gap on leaders Barcelona and second-placed Atletico Madrid, monetarily at least, when they take on lowly Espanyol.
Real are currently 11 points behind their biggest rivals Barca, while Jose Mourinho's side are five points adrift of Atletico, who play Lionel Messi and co. in the later game.
Real are coming off the back of another disappointing 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey, and Real manager Jose Mourinho expressed his displeasure at some of his players' commitment.
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"There are players who have disappointed me," Mourinho said after the match. "(Some) didn't want to play because it was cold, raining and (only) a Copa match."
Mourinho is confident, though, his side can do the business at home. "Real Madrid will start as we always do at home," he said. "With fluctuations in performance and results we've managed to maintain regularity in our home games with consistent positive results.
"We've drawn once the Liga this season and again in the Champions League. We go in strong in order to win, to control, to score and sometimes to react with the rival scores first and we have to make a comeback.
"The squad has always found this balance in the game when playing at home and has always had the support, sometimes stronger than others, of their fans. I think we're going to win, with the greatest of respect for Espanyol and (Espanyol manager Javier) Aguirre, who has a history of winning in this stadium, but we're going to try to win.
"We won at home against Atletcio, away against Valladolid, and we'll try for the third win in a row and end the year with four straight Liga victories, which is the best we can do until the end of the year"
Expected lineups: Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Espanyol: Cristian Alvarez; Lopez, Moreno, Colotto, Victor Alvarez; Sanchez, Forlin, Garcia, Simao, Fonte; Stuani.
Prediction: 4-1 to Real Madrid
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