28 February 2020
A 4-0 thumping to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first leg gives Espanyol a little to hope for ahead of the return leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) last-32 tie that takes place at the RCDE Stadium.
Up until the Matchday 6 defeat to CSKA Moscow, the hosts were on a stunning 12-game unbeaten European home run (W11, D1), netting over 1.5 goals on nine of those occasions. Both EL home goals conceded this term came either inside the opening or closing ten minutes of play, with Espanyol scoring one goal or less in two of three group stage home games. Yet, the Periquitos have avoided defeat in four consecutive home matches (W1, D3), with each of those draws seeing at least one goal in both halves and both teams on the scoresheet. Abelardo’s main worry ahead of the kick-off is the fact his players have shipped over 1.5 goals in five of their last seven competitive outings.
Meanwhile, the visitors head to Spain on a run of four successive games without a loss (W2, D2), with each of those fixtures yielding a clean sheet. Still, poor away performers, the Wanderers have picked up just one win in their last five road trips in all competitions (D1, L3), drawing a blank on three of those occasions. Yet, Wolves won two of three EL trips during the group stage (D1), with both of their successes producing a single-goal margin and the winner arriving no earlier than the 63rd minute. Moreover, three of their five EL goals allowed so far came in a 3-3 away draw with Braga, which also means the Premier League giants have kept a blank sheet in four of seven competition’s matches.
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