Espanyol vs Sporting Gijon by Jimeno
Even though it was just a point taken away to Ateletico Madrid, no one in Espanyol will be disappointed with a draw last weekend. Players from Madrid had more of the ball possession and somehow controlled the flow, however visitors were defending well and were dangerous on counter attacks, surely deserving that point taken.
Needs to be said that their weren't outplayed at all, neither the home team had much more of the chances created. This was ninth consecutive game without defeat for Espanyol in all competitions, as the team continues to look really strong, especially at the back, since they have conceded only one goal in last seven matches - in Copa del Rey game away to Alcorcon with a rotated squad, meaning that the team didn't concede in last five matches in Primera. They are currently at 12th position with nineteen points earned, just four less than Europa League placed Villarreal and need a victory here in order to stay in that battle.
Espanyol is set to play in 4-4-2 formation with Baptistao and Moreno as strikers. Offensive midfielder Pablo Piatti (11/5) is doubtful for this match, same as left back Victor Alvarez who anyway didn't play so far in the season.
Gijon, on the other side, comes from their third victory in Primera this season, as the team got a convincing victory in front of own fans against Osasuna 3:1 last weekend. Overall impression is that they were better and simply the final outcome completely reflects what we've seen on the field during those ninety minutes.
Carmona opened the scoreline in 43rd minute for the home team, while they added second one in 56th via Pereira, which probably ruined the visiting side somehow, since it was terrible time to concede goals, leaving them without proper further response. Hosts netted once more via Carmona, while Flano reduced the deficit four minutes before the full time whistle. With this three pointer, Gijon now approached the safe zone, having the same number of points as safely placed Valencia, but they continue to be worst travellers with only two points taken out of seven matches and can't hope for much here.
Visitors from Gijon will be playing in 5-4-1 formation with Cop as striker, in a bit more defensive tactics. Offensive midfielder Dani Ndi (3/0) remains to be injured, while they probably miss right full back Lillo (13/0) and forward Carlos Castro (9/1) both being doubtful too.
- Espanyol are undefeated in their last 8 matches (La Liga).
Espanyol have lost just once in last twelve matches in all competitions and will surely be looking to continue with the momentum here. Gijon, away from home have proved to be nothing special and shouldn't be able to resist here. After their victory over Osasuna, this should be too much for them and I don't actually see them breaking Espanyol's defense here at all.