Espanyol will host struggling Villarreal in the 14th Round of the 2022/23 La Liga season.
Venue: RCDE Stadium (Cornella de Llobregat)
Espanyol have won just one of their last nine games (D5, L3).
They have conceded the opening goal in a league match on more occasions (ten; D5, L5) than any other club in the league this season.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last three home games (W1, D2).
Villarreal have failed to score in their last three games.
The visitors have conceded ten goals in the league this season. Only Barcelona (4) and Real Betis (9) have conceded fewer goals.
They are winless in their last six away league games (D2, L4), failing to score in those six games.
Head to head
Both sides have four wins apiece in their last 15 competitive head-to-heads.
Latest performances in all competitions
Espanyol will look to pick up just their third win of the league season when they welcome Villarreal to Catalonia on Wednesday.
The hosts got away with their fourth red card of this La Liga season last time out against a profligate Atlético Madrid, who they held to a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. In a frustrating afternoon for Diego Martínez, a red card to Leandro Cabrera in the 28th minute put Espanyol under extra pressure.
However, they managed to hold Diego Simeone’s men for much of the game, even going ahead in the second half through Sergi Darder. But João Felix equalised late on for Atletico to ensure that the spoils were shared.
Yet, manager Diego Martínez chose to celebrate the point as a “victory”, perhaps partially as it was his first point taken from Atlético in nearly three years and because it also kept his side away from the relegation zone at bay for at least one more round.
The result also made it three games without defeat for the hosts (D3). And ahead of the upcoming World Cup break, they will be desperate to keep their unbeaten run going for one more game to avoid entering the extended break in the relegation zone.
They currently sit in 16th position, one point ahead of Celta Vigo, who are occupying the last relegation spot. So, a win is a must here if they want to stay above the troubled waters when teams reconvene later in the year.
Possible Espanyol starting line-up
Benjamin Lecomte; Oscar Gil, Fernando Calero, Sergi Gomez, Brian Olivan; Keidi Bare, V. de Souza; Aleix Vidal, Sergi Darder, Martin Braithwaite; Joselu.
Injured: Rubén Sánchez, Adria Pedrosa
Suspended: Leandro Cabrera
Villarreal continue to feel the pain of losing Unai Emery to Aston Villa, as the new coach Quique Setién is yet to win any game since his arrival.
The former Barcelona boss has suffered the ignominy of the worst start to a tenure (D1, L3 in all competitions) of any Villarreal manager this century. His side were defeated 2-0 by Real Mallorca last weekend, extending their wait for a win in all competitions to five games following losses to Lech (3-0) and Athletic Bilbao (1-0) and a 2-2 draw with Beer Sheva in Setién’s first game in charge.
With the Yellow Submarines losing ground in the top six race, Setién’s will be desperate to get his first win as Villarreal boss in this game and will be hoping to bring some of his historically good luck to this fixture after taking a positive result from each of his last six clashes with Espanyol (W4, D2)
But to do that he’s going to have to end a drought that has plagued Villarreal long before his sudden arrival as Villarreal are winless from six La Liga trips (D2, L4) without a single goal to their name (0-6 aggregate).
Possible Villarreal starting line-up
Geronimo Rulli; Kiko, Raul Albiol, Aissa Mandi, Alberto Moreno; Daniel Parejo, Etienne Capoue, Manuel Trigueros; Yeremi Pino, Arnaut Danjuma, Jose Luis Morales.
Injured: Alfonso Pedraza, Giovanni Lo Celso
Suspended: Pau Torres
Espanyol 1-0 Villarreal