This is one of the toughest games to predict this weekend in La Liga. Eibar had been enduring a very poor season but then out of nowhere they hammered Betis 5-0 in their most recent home match. Up against an Espanyol side that has largely flattered to deceive this season, they will fancy they can back that up with another three points.
The Barcelona club have been quite poor in the final third. Pablo Piatti, their key playmaker and inspiration last season has gone off the boil and that has highlighted a lack of quality in the other midfield positions. With Gerard Moreno up top they do have a decent finisher but he’s been receiving precious little service and that has resulted in Espanyol scoring just 0.77 goals per game this term and only 0.33 on the road.
Defensively they’ve been a bit more convincing with most of their recent matches low-scoring affairs. However they have still let in 1.67 goals per away game and only Malaga, who have lost all their away matches, have picked up fewer points on the road than Espanyol (3).
Therefore, this match offers Eibar a good chance to put some more space between themselves and the danger-zone. They backed that thrashing of Betis up with an excellent 2-1 win away against fellow strugglers Alaves and now all of a sudden the picture looks a good deal brighter for the Basque minnows as they look to extend their top flight stay into another season.
Injuries played their part in their poor opening to the campaign but they do still have dangerous attacking players on their day and the introduction of summer signing Ivi into the team has made a difference in recent weeks. He’s created goals in each of Eibar’s last two matches and will be a threat out wide here.
Overall backing Eibar to Win looks like the most sensible bet, given they look to have turned the corner now and are playing with a renewed sense of belief. That could just fire them to victory against an Espanyol side that are without a win in 7 competitive away games this season.
As far as the scoreline goes, it’d be unwise to expect any repeat of the five star showing in Eibar’s last home game. Espanyol matches tend to be very low-scoring with 77% of their league games and 83% of their away matches producing under 2.5 goals this season.