There have been nine sackings already this season in La Liga and this game features two coaches who have not lost their job but are certainly coming under intense pressure. Eusebio’s Real Sociedad have massively underperformed this term having gatecrashed the top six last term while Espanyol have also been nowhere near as impressive, which has left Quique Sánchez Flores with plenty to prove.
High-profile wins over all of Spain’s ‘big three’ have perhaps kept him in a job but overall they’ve been poor and their current 15th place is a reflection of that. Neither side are in danger of going down so there’s not a great deal at stake here and it would take a stunning run of form from either side to challenge the European positions from here.
It’s hard to see that developing in either case. Sociedad have been far too easy to break down and have conceded 1.78 goals per game on average this term, the 4th worst defensive record in La Liga.
They’ve been poor on the road too, losing 54% of their away matches and their recent away form has been particularly bad. They’ve lost 5 of their last 6 away from San Sebastian and it’s nearly five months since they recorded a road win in La Liga so they won’t travel to Barcelona full of confidence.
Espanyol have at least been tough to beat of late, something you’ve not been able to say about La Real at any point this season. Sánchez Flores’ side have avoided defeat in all of their last 6 matches, although 5 of those games were drawn. The exception was a shock win over Real Madrid and their tendency to turn over the top sides at home perhaps bodes well here.
While Sociedad are certainly not a top side, they are a positive one and will have a go, which should given Espanyol a bit more space, particularly on the break and that appears to be more to their liking, than coming up against cagey opponents. Backing Espanyol Draw No Bet could be worth considering and that market certainly appeals more than the Full-Time Result one, given the number of games they’ve been drawing of late.
One major plus for the visitors though is the return to fitness of top scorer Willian Jose. He’s been out for around a month but scored in all of his final four games before getting injured and backing Willian Jose to score anytime looks to offer value here too.
Head To Head
Sociedad have won on 3 of their last 4 visits to the RCDE Stadium. The sides drew 1-1 earlier this term.
Espanyol vs Real Sociedad Stats
- Real Sociedad have failed to win in their last nine La Liga away games (D3 L6), their longest winless streak away from home since March 2015 (13).
- The side from San Sebastian have scored 22% of their goals in the first 15 minutes of games in La Liga this season (11 from 49), the highest percentage of any team.
- Gerard Moreno has scored seven of Espanyol’s last nine home goals in La Liga, six of them in the second half of games.
- Only Iago Aspas (14 points won with 16 goals) has won more points with his goals than Gerard Moreno (12 with 11) in La Liga this season.
- Quique Sanchez Flores has only lost one of his 11 managerial games against Real Sociedad (W6 D4), as Espanyol’s boss (1-2 at RCDE Stadium in February 2017).