Preview: Almeria vs. Girona

Preview: Almeria vs. Girona

Two newly-promoted sides face off in LaLiga on Thursday, as Almeria welcome Girona to the Power Horse Stadium with just one point separating the two teams.

The hosts were swept aside by Real Betis last weekend, but will be looking to bounce back on home soil against a visiting side who are winless in four.

Alarm bells were ringing in Almeria earlier this month, as a 4-0 defeat to Athletic Club made it four losses in a row since the departure of star striker Umar Sadiq, without a goal being scored in that miserable run.

However, a 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano two weeks ago, inspired by the impressive Adrian Embarba, eased fears that the loss of their prolific Nigerian striker would be a fatal blow to their survival campaign.

While Rubi’s men were comprehensively beaten by his former club Real Betis on the weekend, the 3-1 defeat offered further attacking encouragement, as they registered their highest expected goals figure since a 2-1 win over Sevilla in August.

Sadiq’s replacement, El Bilal Toure, grabbed his second goal in as many games for the Andalusian club, while Gonzalo Melero registered his second consecutive assist, causing problems for a Betis side who had only conceded one goal at the Benito Villamarin before Almeria’s visit.

Returning home to face a more beatable side here, Los Rojiblancos will be confident of a second consecutive home win, to put further distance between themselves and the bottom three.

Girona, on the other hand, have been struggling to turn positive attacking performances into wins recently, with three defeats and a draw in their last four games seeing them slowly slip down the table.

After a tough run of games against Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, an encounter with Cadiz looked to be a great opportunity to get back on the winning trail.

A 1-1 draw with their relegation-threatened opponents, however, only secured with a 102nd-minute penalty from Cristhian Stuani, felt slightly underwhelming after previously promising attacking signs.

Yet to win a game away from home this season, a trip to a fellow promoted side represents an opportunity for the Catalan side to break an increasingly concerning habit.

Almeria La Liga form:

Girona La Liga form:

We say: Almeria 1-1 Girona
With both sides desperate for the win, we are predicting a cagey game, with neither side wanting to overcommit and leave themselves vulnerable on the counter.

Almeria have looked better going forward in recent weeks, while Girona are always dangerous with Stuani on the pitch, so a score draw would seem to be a plausible outcome.

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