RCDE Stadium will play host to the round of twenty-eight match between home team Espanyol and Basque giants Real Sociedad this Sunday.
Espanyol followed up their massive win against Real Madrid two weeks ago by stealing a point off Levante in their previous league game. The game was destined to end in favor of Levante, but Leo Baptistao had other ideas and bagged the equalizer for the Catalans on stoppage time.
The result on the night secures them of six straight league games without losing which is impressive considering the opponents they had faced in those fixtures were the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Villarreal.
Twelve points above the relegation spots, Espanyol will be running towards the top half of the table finish. The side isn’t very good going forward but has managed to stay the relegation zones afloat by picking up crucial points this season. Their next task will be to overcome Real Sociedad team full of confidence.
La Real were struggling near the bottom of the table before the turn of the year but have now somewhat salvaged their season. They currently sit comfortably in twelfth place in the single which has a jam-packed mid-table and a positive result against Espanyol could see them ever so close to the top half of the table.
On the other hand, Real Sociedad registered their ninth win of the league campaign last week when they set aside Deportivo Alaves 2-1 at the Anoeta. Goals from Hector Moreno and Illarramendi were enough for the Basque club to seal the victory.
Their Europa League dreams are over, and La Liga is now their only priority which means with the eleven matches left to be played this season, their objective will undoubtedly be to finish in the European spots this season as well.
Head to Head
Of the 41 matches played between the two clubs after the turn of the millennia, Sociedad have the upper hand winning seventeen of the ties, with Espanyol managing to bag a victory eleven times.
The most recent meeting between these two sides was earlier this season which ended 1-1.
Players to Watch
The twenty-five-year-old striker is in fantastic form this season in front of goal with the Spaniard finding the net eleven times this season.
The Spanish midfielder has been the engine for La Real with his exceptional work rate and eye for a pass. Illarramendi has scored seven and assisted four in the league from the center of midfield and also puts up 4.6 tackles and interceptions a match.
Espanyol have Jairo Morillas and Sergio Garcia unavailable of the match because of injuries.
Sergi Darder is suspended for the match after collecting his fifth yellow for the campaign.
Sociedad are one of the most injuries struck team in the league. Raul Navas and Agirretxe have muscular problems.
Keeper Geronimo Rulli sustained a cruciate ligament strain and isn’t likely to return early. Xabi Prieto has a tear in the abductor muscle which also sees him miss out for some time.
Espanyol vs Real Sociedad Lineups ( Predicted XI)
Espanyol Lineup (4-4-2)
Navarro – Duarte – Lopez – Martin
Granero – Victor Sanchez – Carlos Sanchez – Piatti
Real Sociedad Lineup (4-3-3)
Odriozola – Moreno – Llorente – Bella
Illaramendi – Zubeldia – Zurutuza
Espanyol vs Real Sociedad Prediction
Both the clubs have had ups and downs this season and thus currently sit in the bottom half of the table. The two clubs had European aspirations for next season, but at this stage, that looks unlikely.
The home side for the game hasn’t lost in six matches which is a confidence booster, but Sociedad are finding their feet at the moment which indicates this match is going to be a thriller.
Our Prediction: Espanyol 2-2 Real Sociedad