Espanyol will be looking to make it back-to-back La Liga victories when they continue their campaign at home to Elche on Monday night.
The home side are currently 11th in Spain’s top flight, boasting 26 points from their opening 19 matches of the season, while Elche sit 17th, level on points with 18th-placed Alaves in the table.
Espanyol have impressed on their return to the top flight of Spanish football, winning seven, drawing five and losing seven of their 19 league matches to collect 26 points, which has left them in 11th position.
Vicente Moreno’s side are only four points off the top six as things stand, and they recorded an impressive 2-1 victory away to Valencia in their last league match at the end of December.
The Catalan outfit also progressed to the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey last week by beating Ponferradina on penalties following a 1-1 draw between the two sides.
Espanyol, who will take on Mallorca in the next round of the Copa del Rey on January 15, will be looking to consolidate in the top flight this term, having won last season’s Segunda Division.
The White and Blues are unbeaten in their last three top-flight fixtures against Elche, although the last two clashes have finished level, including the reverse match earlier this season.
Elche, meanwhile, have struggled for consistency during the 2021-22 campaign, boasting a record of three wins, seven draws and nine losses from their 19 matches, which has brought them 16 points.
Francisco’s side are currently 17th in the table, level on points with 18th-placed Alaves, and it does appear that they will be locked in a relegation battle in the second half of the season.
Elche played out a goalless draw with Granada in the league last time out but were victorious in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, beating Almeria 2-1 to progress to the round of 16.
Los Franjiverdes finished 17th in La Liga last season, just two points clear of the bottom three, and they have some tough matches ahead, facing Villarreal and Real Madrid in their next two league fixtures.
Elche have also been drawn against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, meaning that they will take on Los Blancos in back-to-back fixtures across two competitions later this month.
Espanyol La Liga form:
Espanyol form (all competitions):
Elche La Liga form:
Elche form (all competitions):
We say: Espanyol 2-0 Elche
Elche have only won once on their travels in La Liga this season, but Espanyol have been in strong form in front of their own supporters, picking up 20 points from nine matches. The Catalan giants were also impressive against Valencia in the league last time out, and we are backing them to secure another three points here.