Cristiano Ronaldo James Rodriguez Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo will hold the key for Real against Espanyol.Reuters

Real Madrid, who are third in the La Liga standings, have to defeat Espanyol at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday to stay on course for the title. This home game against Espanyol has become an even more important fixture after Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid on Saturday to go top of the table with 51 points while Real have 44.

Real Madrid's form in the La Liga has been good, but their draw against Real Betis was a huge disappointment as they were expected to win the game and take three easy points. Though Real deserved to win the game with their positive football, they had to satisfy themselves with a 1-1 scoreline.

"It's tough when you drop two points, because we always want to win. Given our performance, we deserved more than a point, but in football you have to take your chances and we're aware of that. The players performed very well," the Real Madrid official website quoted coach Zinedine Zidane as saying.

With players such as Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, they have a strong bunch who can defeat any team in the world. Talking about the game against Espanyol, who have won only six games this season, Zidane said they need to get going right from the start.

"We're at home, and we know what we've got to go out and do against Espanyol. We need to score goals and start the game strongly. The only thing we've got to focus on is winning the game, and we're preparing to go out and get the three points," he said.

"We've had a good week on the training field, and now we're focused on getting the three points. We know that we face a good side. Every game is different, and we have to have respect for the opposition, and that's why we must make a strong start and be on it right from the off. I hope that things go just like they did in our last two home games," he added.

The Espanyol players are aware of the tough task away from home against one of the best sides in the La Liga. They must be even more worried as Real have been scoring goals for fun when they are playing at home. They have scored 10 goals in their last two home games.

The visitors resemble an even weaker team in the La Liga without two key players: Marco Asensio — on-loan player from Real Madrid — who is ineligible and Felipe Caicedo, who is injured. To make matters worse, they also have to do without the services of Victor Alvarez and Gerard Moreno, who have been suspended for the tie.

Considering Real's dominance at home, even a draw for Espanyol might comes as a surprise.

Where to watch live

Real Madrid vs Espanyol La Liga live game is scheduled for 8:30 pm CET (1 am IST, 7:30 pm GMT, 2:30 pm ET, ) start with live TV coverage in India on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD. Viewers in India can also watch the Real Madrid vs Espanyol La Liga live game streaming online on Sony Liv.

Sky Sports 3 will broadcast the Real Madrid vs Espanyol La Liga game live in the UK, while the La Liga action can also be live streamed online on Sky Go.

US viewers can watch Real Madrid vs Espanyol live on Bein Sports, while the live stream option is available on Bein Sports Connect.

Spain viewers can catch Real Madrid vs Espanyol La Liga live game on Canal+ Partidazo and Movistar TV Futbol.