Preview: Valencia vs. Espanyol 

Preview: Valencia vs. Espanyol 

Valencia will continue their battle to remain in La Liga when they play host to relegation rivals Espanyol on Sunday.

While the home side is two points clear of the danger zone, 19th-placed Espanyol is three points adrift of safety and could be relegated this weekend.

After picking up seven points from three games, Valencia had the chance to guarantee their safety when they made the trip to Mallorca in midweek.

Their top-flight status would have been secured with a victory, but they returned to the mainland empty-handed after falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Valencia academy graduate Lee Kang-in scored the winner for Mallorca in October’s reverse fixture, and he haunted his former club once again, producing the cross for Vedat Muriqi to head home the winning goal in Thursday’s contest.

Ruben Baraja’s side will now return to Mestalla, where there will be a partial stadium closure following the racist abuse that Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior received in their most recent home game, and the hosts will be hoping to secure survival on Sunday rather than sending their relegation battle to their final game of the season against Real Betis.

Having lost just one of their 13 home La Liga games against Espanyol (W10, D2), Valencia will be hopeful of claiming a positive result on Sunday.

After claiming a 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano last weekend, Espanyol entered Wednesday’s home game against Atletico Madrid with hopes of recording consecutive victories, but those aspirations were quashed inside 46 minutes, as Diego Simeone’s side established a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead.

However, Espanyol showed excellent fighting spirit to mount a remarkable comeback thanks to goals from Cesar Montes, Joselu, and Vinicius Souza.

In normal circumstances, picking up a point after trailing by three goals would have been a successful result, but the draw leaves Espanyol hovering over the trap door with three points separating them from safety.

If the Periquitos lose to Valencia, they will be relegated if two of Getafe, Cadiz, and Real Valladolid avoid defeat, and a draw would prove insufficient if both Getafe and Cadiz clinch maximum points.

Luis Garcia will be imploring his side to focus on themselves, though, as the visitors look to claim consecutive away victories in La Liga for the first time since May 2018.

Valencia La Liga form:

Espanyol La Liga form:

We say: Valencia 1-1 Espanyol
With three points separating them from safety, Espanyol will be desperate to claim an away victory, but with their last two games against Valencia ending all square, we think that Sunday’s contest will produce another draw.

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