Celta Vigo vs Espanyol: Preview, Team News, Likely Lineups, And Prediction
Celta Vigo will aim to return to the winning ways when they host the Calalans in Vigo this Sunday.
Celta Vigo host struggling side Espanyol this Sunday, in the Round 23 of the La Liga Santander 2017/18. Celta are unbeaten in their last five matches at home against Espanyol, having won three and drawn two games in the process. Their last home defeat to Espanyol came in February 2007.
Celta Vigo lost 2-1 against Alaves, last Saturday, in their last game in the league. Alaves struck twice in the first 20 minutes of the game and were in control of the game ever since. Iago Aspas scored in the beginning of the three minutes of stoppage time added at the end of the second half, which was not enough to salvage any points from the game.
The loss against Alaves ended a three-match winning streak in the La Liga for Carlos Unzue’s side. In fact, it is their only defeat in the last six games in La Liga. The Celticos have scored at least once in their last six league games.
Meanwhile, Espanyol played a 1-1 draw against local rivals, Barcelona, last Sunday, in their last league game. The Blanquiazules took the lead in the game with a Gerrard Moreno strike 20 minutes into the second half. However, Pique scored eight minutes from time to secure a point each for the two Catalonian sides.
The draw against FC Barcelona ended a three-game losing streak in all competitions for Sanchez Flores’ side. In fact, the team have not won any of their last four league games conceding eight goals in the process. The Periquitos have won just one game in the league, since the start of December.
Celta Vigo are currently eighth in the La Liga table with 31 points. They have won nine games and lost as many in the league this season, along with four draws.
In 22 games in the league, Unzue’s side have scored 39 goals already. Only, four clubs have scored more in the division. The last time Celta scored more goals at this stage of the season was in 2001/2002 when they had scored 41 goals in 22 games under Victor Fernandez
While Espanyol are currently 15th in the league table, they have managed just 25 points in La Liga. They have won six, drawn seven and lost nine league games. At this stage last season, the Catalonian side were ninth in the table with 31 points on board.
Sanchez Flores’ side have been far from impressive going forward this season. They have scored just 19 goals in the league so far, averaging below a goal per game. Only two sides have scored fewer goals in the Spanish top division.
Espanyol have the chance to do a league double over Celta for the first time since 2006/07. Quique Sanchez Flores has lost just two of his eight managerial encounters with Vigo in the La Liga, having won five and drawn the other one. However, Flores has won just one of his three league visits to Balaidos.
If Catalan side fail to win the game on Sunday, they will record the longest run in the league without a victory under Sanchez Flores. They have lost two and drawn the other two of their last four league games.
Celta have won 29 La Liga matches at home against Espanyol, which is more than any other side in the competition. Iago Aspas has been the standout performer for the Celticos this season. The forward has scored 15 goals in the league so far, the second consecutive season where he has scored 15+ goals in the league. The Spaniard has scored in four of his last six games in the La Liga against Espanyol.
Meanwhile, Gerard Moreno has been the star performer for the Catalan side in the league this season. The 25-year-old has scored nine of Espanyol’s 19 goals in the league so far, which is almost 47% of the goals, the highest percentage of any player in the division.
Defender Hugo Mallo injured his toe in the final week of January. The Spaniard has resumed training this week and is expected to start on Sunday.
Adrian Lopez has been unavailable since the start of September with a meniscus injury. The goalie is expected to be back in a few weeks.
Didac Villa is carrying a thigh injury and is unlikely to feature against Celta. Pablo Piatti is also a doubt due to his muscle injury.
Celta Vigo vs Espanyol Key Stats
Celta Vigo vs Espanyol Predicted XI
Celta Vigo Lineup (4-4-2)
Defense: Mallo(RB), Roncaglia (RCB), Gomez(LB), Jonny(LB)
Midfield: Wass (RM), Radoja (RCM), Lobotka (RCM), Sisto (LM)
Espanyol Lineup (4-3-3)
Defense: Navarro (RB), Duarte (RCB), Lopez (LCB), Caricol (LB)
Midfield: Baptistao (RW), Mata (CM), Granero (RCM), Darder (LCM), Garcia (LW)
Attack: Moreno (ST)
Celta Vigo vs Espanyol Predictions
Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have been struggling to find a win in the league. Espanyol have been awful away from home this season, they have only managed just seven away points all season.
In the last 13 encounter between these two sides, Celta have won four times, and Espanyol have done that on five occasions.
Our prediction for this game is Celta to win 3-1.