16 February 2020
Sevilla and Espanyol will face off at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in contrasting circumstances. While the visitors fight tooth and nail to preserve their La Liga (LL) status, the hosts are still very much in contention for the top-four finish.
Sevilla’s recent drop-off in form has compromised their chances of reaching the top four, as they’ve managed just one win in their past five LL outings (D2, L2). Interestingly, four of those matches during that five-game sequence have seen both teams score, with the last two witnessing Sevilla fail to withstand the pressure after opening the scoring (D1, L1). Arguably one of the quickest starters in the league, Los Nervionenses have scored the first goal in 70% (16) of their 23 LL fixtures so far this season, winning ten of them (D4, L2). In turn, Julen Lopetegui’s men have drawn first blood in six of 11 LL home matches (55%), even though only four of their 14 league home goals scored came in the first half (29%).
Meanwhile, two wins in their last four league fixtures (D1, L1) have seen the visitors improve their chances of avoiding relegation, as they now sit just two points adrift of 17th-placed Celta Vigo. Although 61.11% (11) of their total 18 LL points arrived away from home, the Periquitos have suffered five defeats in their previous six league road trips (W1), with four of those failures yielding a margin of multiple goals. It will be a daunting prospect for Espanyol to improve their away record here, as they’ve lost six of their last eight top-flight trips to Sevilla (D2), conceding over 1.5 goals in all but two of those clashes. A genuine lack of away goals could be another problem for Espanyol here. Indeed, they’ve netted just eight goals in 11 LL away fixtures, failing to find the net in five (45%).
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