Espanyol vs Valencia by Jimeno
Espanyol could be happy with the progress made in first four rounds, as they have two victories in not that easy schedule. Two defeats came in quite planned way, as they had to play against Real Madrid at home and away to Villarreal. Most recently, they surprised with a three pointer taken away from home against Real Sociedad last weekend on Saturday evening following 3:2 victory.
Players from Sociedad were the ones who entered the game better and took the lead in 20th minute thanks to a goal from Agirretxe, but then deservedly stood playing with a man less near the end of the first halftime when their goalkeeper Rulli got excluded and penalty kick awarded for the visitors. Moreno equalized back then, while the visitors had more of the ball possession and chances created in the second half, deservedly getting all three points. Goalscorers were Roco in 71st and Perez in 90th, while Jonathas managed to temporarily equalize in 86th minute. Even though the three pointer came in last moments, there is no doubt that the visiting side fully deserved it with their determination when staying with a man more. Right full back Anaitz Arbilla (3/0) and left full back Ruben Duarte (3/0) are both doubtful for tonight's game. Coach Sergio will most likely keep the same formation as against Sociedad, with offensive tactics included.
Valencia, on the other side, isn't having such a positive start in the season as it was expected after their good performances in Champions League qualifiers when they excluded French side Monaco. Despite having overall a decent schedule regarding the quality of their opponents, team managed to secure only one victory together with three draws, being currently at decent seventh position, however already with six points less than leaders from Barcelona.
Most recently, they had a goalless draw at home against Real Betis last weekend, even though the team played with a man more since 48th minute when visiting player Ceballos got second yellow card and had to leave the pitch. Despite big domination on the field, much more of ball possession and chances created, players of Valencia simply couldn't find a way to put the ball into the opponent's net, even though their creativity worked quite fine on that night. Young right back Joan Cancelo has impressed in the previous game and will probably retain his position, even though Antonio Barragnan now becomes available after serving suspension. Sofiane Feghouli should start ahead of Santi Mina, while the team continues to play without injured talented goalkeeper Mat Ryan (2/0) and Diego Alves, with Jaume being their third option between the posts.
Espanyol comes into this game with improved morale and will surely try to use momentum and get another positive result against reputable opponent. As for Valencia, it's just a matter of time when the team will start playing much more fluently and with bigger effectivity. For me, that moment will probably come in this game, while the odds are giving us great value this time.