Preview: Espanyol vs. Valencia

Preview: Espanyol vs. Valencia

Two sides fighting it out in the middle of the La Liga table will do battle on Saturday, as Espanyol entertain Valencia.

The visitors find themselves clinging onto a place in the top half in the midst of a winless run, while their hosts sit four points worse off in 13th spot, having also endured a dismal run of form.

After an impressive start to the La Liga season following their promotion, in which they looked set to establish themselves as a top-half outfit, Espanyol have had to endure a major dip in form recently.

A seven-game winless run early in the new year saw them drop into the bottom half, and the Periquitos now find themselves without a victory in five outings, with their last triumph coming in early April.

That win over Celta Vigo was immediately followed by three straight defeats, and, after a draw with Osasuna, they were again on the losing side last time out, falling short against relegation-threatened Alaves.

Raul de Tomas drew Espanyol level in their away trip, but a Gonzalo Escalante goal ensured they were sent home empty-handed.

Despite their poor run of form recently, Vicente Moreno’s side did enough in the early stages of the season to ensure that Mallorca’s failure to win last time out confirmed their survival, and they can now focus on rebuilding confidence ahead of next season.

They welcome a Valencia team looking to correct their form in their bid to seal a top-half finish, having endured a tough run recently.

After picking up three wins and a draw from a four-game span across February and March, Los Che looked set for a comfortable top-half finish, but they have since failed to pick up another La Liga victory in seven attempts.

Consecutive defeats to Osasuna and Villarreal were followed by draws against Athletic Bilbao and basement side Levante, before Jose Bordalas’s men hosted Real Betis on Tuesday.

That game remained level until near the hour mark, but Willian Jose eventually broke the deadlock and Sergio Canales and Borja Iglesias went on to hit goals to condemn Los Che to a 3-0 defeat.

With their lead over 11th place cut to just one point as a result of their dip, Valencia will be desperate to make a return to winning ways on Saturday to strengthen their position in the top half heading into the final day.

Espanyol La Liga form:
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Valencia La Liga form:
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Valencia form (all competitions):
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We say: Espanyol 1-2 Valencia
With two sides struggling for form doing battle, this contest could certainly go either way, and we just lean towards an away win.

De Tomas, in particular, could cause Bordalas’s side plenty of problems, but Los Che need a victory to strengthen their place in the top half, and we back them to make a return to winning ways.

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