Home comforts to make the difference for Espanyol
After a hot start to the La Liga season, Alaves hit a severe mid-year slump. What once looked like guaranteed European football now looks like a desperate battle to remain in the top half. Their games with Espanyol are always close however and it is hard to see this being much different.
Espanyol are the team trending upward. Their home form is always a strong point and this season has continued that trend. They have only lost to Real Madrid and Sevilla at home since the turn of the year. That run has seen them pick up four wins and three draws in nine games, with Sevilla being the only time they have failed to find the net in this run.
They possess a forward in Borja Iglesias who has scored two in his last five appearances including in their last home game, a creditable 1-1 draw with high flying Getafe.
Alaves away form in 2019 has gone much as you’d expect. Heavy losses to Getafe and Real Madrid but wins against Villareal and Huesca. Their most recent away game being a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla two weeks ago. They have been kept scoreless in three of their seven away games in 2019 and only managed to score more than one goal two times this year, so while they tend to score against the mid to lower ranked teams, they have been drawing a blank much to regularly for my liking given Espanyol’s strong home form.
The head to head stats makes some very interesting reading, however. The teams have met 16 times since the year 2000. In that time there have been four 0-0 draws, five 1-0 wins and nine out of the ten games that haven’t been a draw have been decided by one goal, either 1-0 or 2-1. This stretch has seen eight home wins and three away wins, so history tells us it is going to be a hard-fought home win.
With what I’ve explained trajectory wise for both teams and with the history surrounding the fixture and the early kick-off time (12:00) Saturday. The bet I’ve decided to go for is Espanyol to win by a margin of 1, which is 9/5 with most online bookmakers. If you aren’t watching and fancy something a bit more boring at a fancier price, why not take a chance on the correct score of 0-0 at 13/2. A 33% strike rate isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, so I couldn’t put anyone off either selection.