Revitalised Espanyol will be looking to extend their current run of form at Cornella-El Prat on Friday as they lock horns with high-flying Real Sociedad, who have been a bit inconsistent of late.
Three on the trot
Espanyol are on a mini-series of three consecutive wins in La Liga, which comes as a great encouragement for Quique Sanchez Flores and his man following the three-match winless streak before that. Sitting in eight place in the standings only three points behind Villarreal in sixth, the hosts will be hoping for an extended run of results that will allow them to get closer to the European places. Espanyol’s hard-fought 1-0 victory over Malaga last time out will be a morale boost for the consistency-searching side who emerged victorious thanks for a winning goal from Pablo Piatti. The Argentine winger slotted home a left-footed shot from outside the box for his seventh La Liga goal this season. Former Valencia player is enjoying quite a spell with his new club and he also racked up 7 assists thus far in the championship as well.
Quique Sanchez Flores will be without Victor Sanchez, Javi Lopez and Leo Baptistao who are all struggling with respective injuries, whereas papa Diop is given a rest following his trophy-winning African Cup of Nations exploits.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for Real Sociedad who played both Barcelona and Real Madrid in just three days. Having been stomped over by the Catalans in the 5-2 Copa del Rey match earlier in January, Sociedad also suffered a 3-0 blow at the hands of Real Madrid in La Liga afterwards. Eusebio Sacristan’s men managed to get back up on their feet and hold back bottom-dwellers Osasuna in a 3-2 victory at the weekend. Real Sociedad managed to overturn a first-half deficit and score three quick goals through Navas, Vela and Juanmi to make sure they remained in the running for the top 4 in La Liga. Given they are only three points behind Atletico Madrid in fourth place in the standings, Real Sociedad will have every right to hope for a European finish to the season if they manage to steady the ship, find consistency and continue with fine performances until the end of the season.
Real Sociedad are still without their striker Agirretxe who is yet to play a single minute this season, while Carlos Martinez and Markel Bergara will be sidelined for the match against Espanyol on Friday.
Both sides are going for a much-needed win in order to stay in the race for the top places in La Liga and we should witness a highly-eventful and exciting match. Games between these two sides often yield plenty of goals and we still remember that 5-0 victory for Real Sociedad the last time they came to Cornella-El Prat.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.91 (10/11) @WilliamHill
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 2.20 (6/5) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Real Sociedad 2.8 (9/5) @Bet365