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Segunda Division | 1st Leg
Jun 16, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Estadio Nuevo Carlos Tartiere
Espanyol logo

Real Oviedo
1 - 0

Alemao (72')
Luismi (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Gil (71'), Balde (87')

Preview: Real Oviedo vs. Espanyol - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Segunda Division clash between Real Oviedo and Espanyol, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Having successfully navigated their way through their respective Segunda Division playoff semi-final affairs, Real Oviedo and Espanyol will meet in the final, which will also take place over two legs.

The first leg will be contested at Real Oviedo's Estadio Carlos Tartiere on Sunday, and the hosts will be determined to claim an advantage ahead of the return fixture on June 23.

Match preview

Real Oviedo have been absent from Spain's top flight since the 2000-01 campaign, and it has been a difficult period in the club's history, having spent time in the fourth tier since their last appearance in La Liga.

The Blues have been in the Segunda Division since the 2015-16 season, but they are now just two games away from securing what would be a huge return to the top flight for the 2024-25 campaign.

Luis Carrion's side only just sneaked into the Segunda Division playoffs, claiming sixth spot in the table, edging out seventh-placed Racing Santander on goal difference, with the two teams level on the head-to-head record.

Real Oviedo were pitted against Eibar in the semi-finals, and after a goalless draw in the first leg on June 8, the Blues ran out 2-0 winners in the return fixture four days later to secure their position in the final.

Head coach Carrion will be aware of the importance of claiming an advantage on home soil against a strong Espanyol outfit, but the team demonstrated in the last round that they are capable of going away to big teams and picking up impressive results when the pressure is on.

Espanyol, meanwhile, managed to navigate their way past Sporting Gijon in the semi-finals of the playoffs, with a 1-0 success in the first leg proving to be enough, as the second leg finished 0-0 on Thursday night.

The Catalan outfit are bidding to secure an immediate return to Spain's top flight, having finished 19th in La Liga during the 2022-23 campaign.

Manolo Gonzalez's side were fourth in the regular Segunda Division campaign, just three points behind second-placed Real Valladolid, and they have only been beaten on seven occasions in the league this season.

Espanyol will bring an 18-game unbeaten run into this contest, meanwhile, with their last loss proving to be a 2-0 reverse to Racing Santander back in February.

The White and Blues beat Real Oviedo 2-1 when the two teams last locked horns towards the end of May, but Real Oviedo were 2-0 winners in the reverse match earlier in the season on home soil.

Real Oviedo Segunda Division form:

Espanyol Segunda Division form:

Team News

Denmark's Martin Braithwaite on March 23, 2023© Reuters

Real Oviedo are set to be without the services of four players for the first leg of the final, with David Costas, Santi Cazorla, Mario Hernandez and Rodrigo Tarin on the sidelines.

Head coach Carrion is likely to name close to the same XI that took to the field for the second leg of the semi-final, which could mean that 10-goal forward Borja Baston starts on the bench.

Sebas Moyano has nine goals from midfield this season and will again feature in a wide area, but there is expected to be a change in the attack, with Paulinho de la Fuente in line to come back into the side.

As for Espanyol, Omar Sadik and Edu Exposito remain on the sidelines due to injury issues, while Omar El Hilali is suspended following his red card against Sporting Gijon on Thursday.

Oscar Gil is therefore expected to come into the side for this match, but the visitors could otherwise be unchanged from their second leg with Sporting Gijon.

Martin Braithwaite (22) and Javi Puado (15) have netted 37 times between them in all competitions this season, and the pair will continue in the final third of the field for the Catalan side.

Real Oviedo possible starting lineup:
Romon; Rozada, Luengo, Calvo, Pomares; Luismi, Colombatto; Moyano, Seoane, De la Fuente; Alemao

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
J Garcia; Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Milla; Carreras, Bare, Gragera, Melamed; Puado, Braithwaite

SM words green background

We say: Real Oviedo 1-1 Espanyol

Espanyol are such a difficult side to beat, and we are not expecting the Catalan team to lose this contest. Real Oviedo deserve huge respect for their display in the semi-finals, though, and we believe that a tight first leg will end with the spoils being shared.

Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Real Oviedo win with a probability of 46.85%. A draw had a probability of 29.2% and a win for Espanyol had a probability of 23.94%.

The most likely scoreline for a Real Oviedo win was 1-0 with a probability of 15.89%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (10%) and 2-1 (8.11%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (12.88%), while for a Espanyol win it was 0-1 (10.24%). The actual scoreline of 1-0 was predicted with a 15.9% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted a 1-0 win for Real Oviedo in this match.

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Group A

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3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

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Group F

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4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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