MX23RW : Friday, September 24 18:32:23| >> :120:39678:39678:
Jul 5, 2020 at 4pm UK at RCDE Stadium

de Tomas (51'), Darder (85'), Calleri (88')
Calleri (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Silva (53')
Silva (45+2'), Assale (67'), Siovas (84'), Aviles (90+1')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Leganes - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Two teams in desperate need of the points will lock horns in a La Liga relegation six-pointer this weekend as 20th-placed Espanyol welcome 19th-placed Leganes.

Espanyol are currently 10 points behind 17th position, while Leganes are nine points from safety, with both clubs facing the real possibility of dropping into the Segunda Division.

Match preview

Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Espanyol have not mathematically been relegated, but it is going to take some turnaround from the Catalan outfit in their final five matches to secure their status at this level of football.

Indeed, a record of five wins, nine draws and 19 defeats from their 33 matches has left them rock bottom of the table, some 10 points behind 17th-placed Celta Vigo on the same number of games.

Los Periquitos have not played outside of Spain's top flight since the 1993-94 campaign, while they actually finished seventh in La Liga last season, picking up 14 wins from their 38 matches.

Now under the management of Francisco Rufete on an interim basis, Espanyol have lost each of their last four in the league, including a 2-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad on Thursday night.

Javier Aguirre in charge of Egypt on June 21, 2019© Reuters

Leganes, meanwhile, are also in serious trouble of being relegated, sitting just one point and one position above Espanyol ahead of kickoff on Sunday afternoon.

Javier Aguirre's side have not picked up a win since returning to action after the lockdown period, losing four of their six matches, including their last two against Osasuna and Sevilla.

Los Pepineros are competing in their fourth season at this level of football, but they only just survived in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, finishing 17th, before claiming 13th last term.

A victory this weekend would certainly give them a chance of escaping the relegation zone, but they have only managed one away win in La Liga this term, losing nine of their 16 matches.

Espanyol La Liga form: WDLLLL

Leganes La Liga form: LLDDLL

Team News

Espanyol striker Borja Iglesias celebrates scoring against Atletico Madrid in May 2019© Reuters

Espanyol will again be without the services of Gonzalo Avila and Sebastien Corchia through injury, but the Catalan outfit did not pick up any fresh concerns against Sociedad last time out.

Wu Lei started on the bench on Thursday but should return to the XI for this match, with the China international expected to join Raul de Tomas in the final third of the field.

Sergi Darder and Victor Sanchez are also pushing for spots in the home side's starting team.

As for Leganes, Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Sevilla, while Kenneth Omeruo, Oscar Rodriguez, Guido Carrillo and Alexander Szymanowski are injury doubts.

Experienced forward Miguel Guerrero could again continue in the final third of the field, while teenage attacker Bryan Gil is also expected to feature for the visitors in a 4-3-3 formation.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Diego Lopez; Gomez, Espinosa, Cabrera, Vila; David Lopez, Roca; Embarba, Melendo; De Tomas, Wu Lei

Leganes possible starting lineup:
Cuellar; Rosales, Bustinza, Awaziem, Silva; Amadou, Recio, Perez; Gil, Guerrero, Aviles

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We say: Espanyol 2-1 Leganes

There is simply no downplaying the importance of this match for both sides; a draw suits neither and therefore it would not be a surprise to see an open game. Espanyol have the worst home record in the league this season, but we fancy the Catalan side to pick up all three points courtesy of a narrow win.

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