Espanyol vs Villarreal Match Preview & Predictions

Espanyol vs Villarreal

Espanyol vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as Espanyol play their first home game back in the Primera.

DateSaturday 21st August 2021
Kick-Off19:30 (local time)
StadiumRCDE Stadium
CompetitionLaLiga

Espanyol vs Villarreal Preview


Espanyol stadium

Saturday’s action in LaLiga continues with a big game at the RCDE Stadium as Espanyol target their first win back in the top flight. In truth it feels like they’ve barely been away and their supporters, who haven’t been able to attend a game since the 2019/20 season, will be back here in small numbers at least having missed the entirety of the promotion winning campaign.

Espanyol’s first game back in the Primera was by no means a classic. It was a fairly direct affair low on quality as they picked up a decent point in the 0-0 draw at Osasuna. Vicente Moreno would have been reasonably content with that you’d imagine and there was certainly no real indication that Espanyol suddenly looked out of their depth at the higher level but they did struggle to create anything like as many chances as they might have in the Segunda last year.

Since last weekend, Espanyol have added two more players to bolster their options. The first comes in the form of former Barcelona man Aleix Vidal. He was on Espanyol’s books as a youngster but didn’t feature for the first team, and in theory it’s a decent signing with the 31 year old now an experienced campaigner at this level. The other is midfielder Manu Morlanes who joins on loan from this weekend’s opponents Villarreal.

There have been new arrivals at the Ceramica too with Arnaut Danjuma a major new signing this week. The 24 year old Dutch international joins from Bournemouth for a €23.5m fee. That makes him the second most expensive LaLiga summer signing after Rodrigo de Paul’s move to Atletico Madrid. Villarreal now have a real range of options going forwards as they prepare for Champions League football.

One of those is Boulaye Dia, another of the most exciting summer signings in LaLiga. He has linked up well with Gerard Moreno in attack for the Yellow Submarine in their opening two games but neither man could force a breakthrough in the 0-0 draw against Granada on Monday night, a slightly underwhelming start to the domestic season for Unai Emery’s side.

Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 3 Espanyol Wins, 1 Villarreal Win, 2 Draws.
  • 5 of the last 6 meetings have seen both teams score.
  • The meetings in the 2019/20 LaLiga season both produced away wins.
  • Villarreal’s 1-0 win at the RCDE Stadium in 2019 is their only win in 6 trips to this ground.

Team News

Espanyol are expected to be at full strength here and their new signings may need to wait to get a chance in the starting XI.

Dani Parejo and Samu Chukwueze are both out injured for Villarreal while Pau Torres is on holiday following his international exploits.

Predicted Espanyol Starting Lineup:

Lopez – Pedrosa, Gomez, Cabrera, Gomez – Darder, Lopez – Puado, Dimata, Embarba – R.D.T. (4-2-3-1)

Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:

Rulli – Pedraza, Albiol, Mandi, Foyth – Alberto Moreno, Capoue, Trigueros, Pino – Dia, Gerard Moreno (4-4-2)


Espanyol vs Villarreal Predictions


Score Prediction: Espanyol 1-1 Villarreal

This is a tough game to call. We’re certainly expecting Espanyol to do quite well on their return to the top flight and they’ll be determined to set the right tone at home, after the misery of their most recent season at this level. They may have enough to get a result here against a Villarreal side which remains a bit too prone to drawing rather than winning league games.

Fantasy Football Picks


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Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1538 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.

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