Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Valencia vs Espanyol - Match Preview
⚽ 28 May 2023 - 17:00 GMT +0
It’s been a torrid week for Valencia, who saw a large portion of their fans rightfully lambasted following the racist abuse aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinícius Júnior in Sunday's La Liga (LL) encounter. They’ve been ordered by the league to partially close a section of their home stadium as a result - though this is a decision they’re set to appeal. You’d suspect a lot of this off-the-field distraction played a part in Thursday’s costly 1-0 defeat at Mallorca.
That result may have left Valencia still as high as 13th coming into this round, however, their cushion to the bottom three is now just two points with this LL relegation battle set to be one of the tightest in years. Los Che has at least avoided defeat in all but one of their last seven home league encounters (W4, D2), so perhaps they’ll see their final clash in front of their home fans this season as crucial to potentially sealing their survival.
Also embroiled in this battle to avoid the drop, Espanyol come into the round three points from safety with only two games remaining, yet that didn’t stop manager Luis García from remarkably claiming he is “convinced” his team is going to avoid the drop. Those comments were likely to be emotionally driven as they came following his team’s remarkable 3-3 draw at home to Atlético Madrid on Wednesday night, in a game that Espanyol trailed 3-0!
The Parakeets will really need to go a third game unbeaten (W1, D1) here if they’re to have any chance of avoiding the drop. They might then be buoyed by a pretty solid record away to the current bottom ten sides this season, as just two of these such matches ended in defeat (W3, D3).
📋 Players to watch: Valencia will be keen to see Diego López back in the thick of the action given that Valencia’s two recent wins saw him make a goal contribution (G1, A1). Espanyol’s Joselu comes into the clash in fine form too, with his strike at Atlético making it four goals in his last six appearances.
⚡ Hot stat: Espanyol has led at the break in just four LL games all season - that’s a league-low.
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