Espanyol vs Girona predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups ahead of this Catalan derby.
|Date||Saturday 7th January 2023|
Espanyol vs Girona Preview
Saturday’s action in LaLiga concludes with a Catalan derby as Girona travel to the RCDE Stadium. Both sides are competing in a similar part of the table too so this is a big game for both clubs as they look to put distance between themselves and the relegation zone.
There are finally a few positives for Espanyol after a difficult start to the season under new boss Diego Martinez. They picked up an excellent draw in an eventful Barcelona derby at Camp Nou last weekend and built on that momentum with a Copa del Rey win over Celta Vigo in midweek. This is arguably bigger than both of those games though as Espanyol need to start recording league victories if they aren’t going to end up in a relegation battle this term.
Their home form simply has to improve. It’s just 1 win from 7 league outings in Cornella this season with 4 teams leaving the RCDE Stadium with maximum points. Were it not for goalkeeping errors, that record would be considerably better and they’ll be hoping for some consistency from Alvaro Fernandez now with Benjamin Lecomte seemingly out of favour while it was youngster Joan Garcia who started the cup game.
Girona meanwhile come into this game unbeaten in 5 matches in LaLiga, a run that stretches back to October’s 3-2 defeat at Almeria. They have generally been a good watch from a neutral perspective this term and that trend continued as they drew their opening game back 2-2 against Rayo Vallecano. Only five teams have netted more times than the Catalans heading into matchday 16.
Their early cup exit means they’ve had another lengthy break ahead of this match so they should be well prepared for it, although Michel is dealing with a few selection issues. Oriol Romeu is suspended while they are still expected to be without at least four players due to injury.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|BANNED||Dani Gomez, Vini Souza|
Possible XI: A Fernandez – Olivan, Cabrera, Gomez, Gil – Exposito, Calero- Braithwaite, Darder, Puado – Joselu (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Diego Martinez
|INJURED||Kebe, Reinier, Juanpe, Javi Hernandez|
Possible XI: Gazzaniga – Miguel, Bueno, David Lopez, Arnau – Herrera, Ivan Martin, Aleix Garcia – Riquelme, Castellanos, Couto (4-3-3)
Score Prediction: Espanyol 2-1 Girona
Espanyol have a bit of momentum to take into this game and they are better than their points tally this season suggests. Their midfield is a bit of a worry here with Vinicius Souza suspended and Sergi Darder an injury doubt, but if the latter is passed fit, they might have a bit too much for a Girona side that is yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
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