1 March 2020
Rock-bottom Espanyol take on fourth-placed Atletico Madrid at the RCDE Stadium, hoping to secure their second consecutive La Liga (LL) home triumph for the first time this season.
All seven of Espanyol’s league fixtures since the turn of the year have ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals (W2, D3, L2), with five seeing over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet. The majority (65%) of the goals (scored/conceded) across their seven LL matches in 2020 came in the second half (13/20), with five of those games also featuring at least one goal beyond the hour mark. Nailed to the bottom of the table, five points behind 17th-placed Celta Vigo, the ‘Periquitos’ can at least lean on their recent home form (W1, D3), as they desperately need some points here to boost their chances of avoiding relegation. Also, Abelardo’s men have outplayed Atletico in two of their previous top-flight home H2Hs, keeping a clean sheet on both of those occasions.
Meanwhile, the visitors head to Catalonia on a run of three consecutive league games without a loss (W2, D1), with two of the last both seeing over 3.5 goals and both teams score. However, Los Colchoneros have won just once in their last nine LL road trips (D6, L2), scoring under 1.5 goals scoring on seven of those occasions. Particularly ponderous in the first half of play, Diego Simeone’s players have managed just three first-half away goals so far – league’s fourth joint-lowest record. Los Rojiblancos’ 12-game away form in Spain’s top-flight is draw-dominated (W3, D6, L3), and especially when it comes to the first 45 minutes (HT: W2, D8, L2). Goals are unlikely to arrive either, considering that only two of their 12 LL away matches have produced over 2.5 goals (17%).
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