MX23RW : Monday, May 17 16:57:35| >> :600:705385:705385:
Jul 19, 2020 at 8pm UK at RCDE Stadium
Celta VigoCelta Vigo

Vila (89'), Embarba (90+2')

Bradaric (26'), Olaza (65'), Gonzalez (90')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Celta Vigo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Espanyol and Celta Vigo, including team news and predicted lineups.

Celta Vigo will be looking to ensure survival in Spain's top flight when they travel to already-relegated Espanyol on the final weekend of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign.

Espanyol are rock bottom of the table and had their relegation confirmed earlier this month, but Celta are currently 17th, only a point above 18th-placed Leganes.

Match preview

Marc Roca in action for Espanyol on July 8, 2020© Reuters

Next season will be the first time that Espanyol have played outside of Spain's top tier since the 1993-94 campaign, with the Catalan outfit's relegation confirmed away to Barcelona on July 8.

The White and Blues have only won five of their 37 league matches this season, suffering 23 defeats in the process, to prop up the division with 24 points, 12 points behind Celta.

There is no question that Espanyol have seriously underachieved this term considering the talent in their squad, while they will enter this match off the back of eight straight league defeats.

Not since a goalless draw with Getafe on June 16 have the Catalan side avoided defeat in La Liga, and they suffered a 1-0 loss away to Valencia in their last game on Thursday night.

Celta Vigo players celebrate Iago Aspas's late goal against Barcelona on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Espanyol only have pride to play for this weekend, but the same cannot be said for Celta, who are not yet sure of a spot in Spain's top flight for the 2020-21 campaign.

Mallorca have also been relegated, but 18th-placed Leganes are only a point off Celta in the table, meaning that either club could be relegated alongside Espanyol and Mallorca on Sunday.

The fact that Leganes are at home to Real Madrid could leave Celta with some breathing room, although the Sky Blues will not be taking any chances and will be determined to secure all three points in this game.

Oscar Garcia's side are actually without a win in Spain's top flight since June 24, losing three and drawing three of their last six, including defeats to Osasuna and Levante in their last two matches.

Interestingly, each of the last four league meetings between Espanyol and Celta have finished level, while Os Celestes have not actually beaten the Catalan club in La Liga since September 2016.

Espanyol La Liga form: LLLLLL

Celta La Liga form: DLDDLL

Team News

Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot with Hugo Mallo © Reuters

Espanyol will be without the services of three key players this weekend through suspension as Sergi Darder, Raul de Tomas and Bernardo Espinosa all picked up yellow cards against Valencia last time out.

Sebastien Corchia is still on the sidelines through injury, but the home side do not have any fresh fitness concerns, meaning that there are not expected to be any major surprises in the first XI.

As for Celta, Nolito is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Levante, while Rafinha's yellow card in the same match means that the Brazilian is also banned.

A lengthy injury list includes Ruben Blanco, Denis Suarez, David Junca and Sergio Alvarez, while Joseph Aidoo and Fedor Chalov will both face late fitness tests for the visitors.

Iago Aspas will again lead the line if Chalov is unable to recover from injury, although the former could be moved into a wider position if the latter can prove his fitness.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Diego Lopez; Avila, Cabrera, Naldo, Vila; Embarba, David Lopez, Roca, Melendo; Calleri, Wu Lei

Celta possible starting lineup:
Villar; Vazquez, Murillo, Araujo, Olaza; Beltran, Yokuslu, Bradaric; Mina, Aspas, Mendez

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We say: Espanyol 1-2 Celta Vigo

Celta have only picked up two away wins in the league this season, but Espanyol have the worst home record in the division with just two victories. We are expecting a tight game at the RCDE Stadium but fancy Celta to pick up the result that they need to guarantee survival at this level of football.

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