MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 17:55:43| >> :600:7275273:7275273:
Jun 20, 2020 at 1pm UK at RCDE Stadium
Lopez (28')
Cabrera (16'), Vila (37')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Mayoral (14'), Bardhi (67'), Pedrosa (87' og.)

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

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

Espanyol will be looking to continue their positive run of form in Spain's top flight when they welcome Levante to the RCDE Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Catalan side have boosted their La Liga survival hopes by picking up four points from their last two matches, while Levante have collected two points from their last two fixtures.

Match preview

Alaves manager Abelardo pictured in September 2018© Reuters

Espanyol have not played outside of Spain's top flight since the 1993-94 campaign, while they finished seventh in La Liga last term, which is an indication of their standing at this level of football.

The Catalan outfit are facing the real threat of being relegated to the second tier for the 2020-21 season, although their form since returning to action earlier this month has been impressive.

Indeed, a 2-0 win over Alaves on June 13 was followed by a goalless draw at Getafe on Tuesday night, which has helped them move off the bottom of the table into 19th position.

Abelardo Fernandez's side are still in the relegation zone but are only three points off 17th-placed Celta Vigo and have more than enough time to move clear of the bottom three in the coming weeks.

Espanyol actually beat Levante in the reverse match earlier this season, while they recorded a 1-0 victory when the pair last locked horns at the RCDE Stadium in September 2018.

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in April 2019© Reuters

Levante have finished 15th in each of their last two seasons in Spain's top flight, having secured a return back to this level by winning the Segunda Division in 2016-17.

The Valencia-based outfit have enjoyed a solid campaign thus far, picking up 35 points from their 29 matches to sit 12th in the table, just four points off the top half of the division.

Paco Lopez's side have actually only lost one of their last five in the league, although they have recorded just one victory during that run, drawing their last three against Granada, Valencia and Sevilla.

No team in the bottom half of the table as won more La Liga matches than Levante (10) this term, although 14 defeats have cost them the chance to be higher up at this stage of the campaign.

Espanyol La Liga form: DLDLWD
Espanyol form (all competitions): LWDLWD

Levante La Liga form: LWLDDD

Team News

Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Espanyol will be without the services of Bernardo Espinosa due to the red card that the defender picked up against Getafe, while Raul de Tomas and Sebastien Corchia are both still injured.

The hosts will hope that Naldo can overcome an injury problem of his own to replace Espinosa at the back, but there are not expected to be many other changes from the side that started last time out.

Indeed, Wu Lei and Jonathan Calleri should continue as the front two, with Marc Roca, who continues to be linked with a summer exit, lining up in midfield.

Levante, meanwhile, will be without Ruben Rochina through suspension due to the yellow card that the attacker picked up against Sevilla, but centre-forward Roger Marti is back from a ban of his own.

Ivan Lopez is still struggling through injury, but the visitors otherwise have a full complement of players heading into this weekend's contest at the RCDE Stadium.

Marti could replace Borja Mayoral in the final third of the field, while Enis Bardhi is expected to take Rochina's spot in a wide position.

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

Levante possible starting lineup:
Aitor; Coke, Bruno, Vezo, Tono; Bardhi, Melero, Vukcevic, Campana; Marti, Morales

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Espanyol 0-0 Levante

Levante have proved difficult to beat in their recent matches, while Espanyol have drawn four of their last six home league fixtures in Spain's top flight; we are finding it difficult to separate the two teams on Saturday afternoon and have therefore backed a goalless draw.

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United StatesUnited States20231659
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Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
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Danish Superliga
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Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
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