You sense,it’s is going to be a long season for Osasuna on their return to the top flight. They weren’t that active in the transfer market so are primarily reliant on the side that got them up to keep them there. They are yet to win though and come into this game with just 2 points from their opening 4 games. Their home performances have been a particular cause for concern. They are yet to score at the Estadio El Sadar following a 2-0 defeat to Real Sociedad and 0-0 draw with Celta Vigo at the weekend in a game their opponents, who have also made a poor start, shaded.
Espanyol therefore may sense this is a good chance to chalk up their first victory. They also have a return of 2 points from 4 games but there are more positives for new boss Quique Sánchez Flores to take and his side do look to have done some shrewd business. They’ve had a tough run of fixtures up to this point with their failure to convert a 2-0 lead into victory at home to Malaga the one real disappointment. They were beaten 2-0 at home by Real Madrid on Sunday but the game may well have taken a different course had Léo Baptistão converted a great chance early on.
They will clearly have more of the game here than they did in that match and their extra goal-scoring potential might just see them emerge victors. They netted 4 goals on the opening day at Sevilla and Gerard Moreno has looked in good form up front. Espanyol might not be brilliant defensively but looking through the Osasuna side, it’s hard to know where their creativity is going to come from and Diego López, who made some fine saves against Los Blancos, should be in for a quieter evening here.
Given that, backing Espanyol 0.0 Asian Handicap at 1.850 looks to offer the better value.
Head To Head
Espanyol have only won 1 of the last 6 meetings but that was in Pamplona in 2013. The most recent clash was a 0-0 draw in Barcelona in May 2014.
Including pre-season, Osasuna have now gone 9 games without a win, losing 6 of them. Espanyol have scored 11 goals in their last 5 league games.
Fausto is carrying a knock so Oier or Imano could be introduced in a defensive midfield role. Jaime is in contention for a start up front with the forwards struggling for goals.
Pablo Piatti is out with an injury which is a real blow for the visitors but otherwise they should be at full-strength. Midfielder Javi Fuego is expected to come in following the end of his suspension.
Osasuna has won 2 of their last 5 home league games.
Espanyol has won 1 of their last 5 league games.
The white and blue have also failed to win in their last 6 away league games of the season.
Osasuna: Predicted Line-Up (5-3-2)
Fernandez: Redrado, Oier, Garcia, Garcia, Clerc: Las Cuevas, Garcia, Merida: Riviere, Riera.
Espanyol: Predicted Line-Up (4-4-2)
Lopez: Lopez, Lopez, Duarte, Sanchez: Jurado, Fuego, Junque, Perez: Moreno, Baptistao.