At the start of Sunday’s LaLiga action, Espanyol will be hosting Elche at the RCDE Stadium. Elche is currently in last place in the league.
On Thursday, Los Pericos were victorious against Osasuna by the narrowest of margins; nevertheless, the visitors’ winless streak was extended to ten games as they were routed by Real Madrid by a score of 3-0.
Our Match Preview: Espanyol vs Elche
Since joining Espanyol for the 2022-23 season, promising young manager Diego Martinez has had a relatively lackluster start.
The loss of 17-goal scorer Raul de Tomas in September didn’t help the new coach establish any kind of rhythm at Cornella, as they had just two victories and three draws through 10 league games thus far.
Joselu’s header in the 81st minute against Real Valladolid last Saturday was the difference as Los Pericos won their first home game since April.
They were unable to build on that crucial win, though, as they lost 1-0 to Osasuna at El Sadar on Thursday after missing three great scoring opportunities.
Understandably, Espanyol would be discouraged by their loss in Pamplona, despite the city’s reputation for being tough for visiting teams, but they should still have drawn a few circles around the weekend’s visit from Elche.
After going almost six months without a victory in front of their home supporters, the arrival of LaLiga’s leakiest defense provides a tremendous chance to make it two home victories in a row, thanks in large part to Joselu, who has scored in each of his previous four games at the RCDE stadium.
Only three teams in Europe’s top five leagues have been hammered harder than Elche this season, who have surrendered 24 goals in LaLiga alone.
Despite losing Francisco early in the season and replacing him with former coach Jorge Almiron, Los Franjiverdes are still the only team in the Spanish top division to have yet to record a victory through 10 games.
Last weekend, Almiron’s squad came agonizingly close to taking all three points away from Valencia, but a controversially disallowed goal kept them to a 2-2 draw. However, on Wednesday night, his squad was soundly defeated by a rampaging Real Madrid squad, who won by a score of 3-0 at the Estadio Martinez Valero.
Los Ilicitanos can take solace from a good performance at Mestalla ahead of their trip to a defensively-shaky Espanyol side, whom they beat 2-1 away from home last season.
Even though the visit of the reigning European champions was not ideal preparation for a more winnable game this weekend.
Our Team News: Espanyol vs Elche
Although both Adria Pedrosa and Ruben Sanchez are thought to be close to recovering from their injuries, Espanyol will continue to play without them in this match.
Earlier in the week, Head Coach Martinez said that there was a stomach ailment going on among the team, but reports from training indicate that those who have been afflicted should be able to participate in the game.
Martin Braithwaite made his comeback to the starting lineup in that match against Osasuna, and he will be one of the primary threats for the home team, along with Sergi Darder, who is creative, and Joselu, who is clinical. Other significant dangers for the home side are Joselu and Sergi Darder.
For the away team, the only player who won’t be playing is former Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez, so manager Miguel Almiron has a deep pool of options to pick from.
After an impressive performance against Real Madrid, star striker Lucas Boye will start up front, and he will be partnered up front by Pere Milla, who scored a brace in this match last season. Lucas Boye’s performance against Real Madrid prompted the decision.
- Espanyol possible starting lineup: Lecomte, Olivan, Cabrera, Gomez, Calero, Souza, Exposito, Braithwaite, Darder, Vidal, Joselu.
- Elche possible starting lineup: Badia, Clerc, Bigas, Verdu, Palacios, Mascarell, Guti, Morente, Milla, Collado, Boye.
Our prediction: Espanyol 1-1 Elche
On paper, Espanyol is the stronger side here; nonetheless, the situation is getting more urgent for Elche, who needs a win, and fast, to avoid being left behind. Although Espanyol is on the stronger side here, the situation is becoming increasingly urgent for Elche.
Following what seemed to be a strong offensive showing at Mestalla, we are picking the team that is now in last place to grind out a result here.