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After two successive midweek winners in the Copa del Rey, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes Espanyol's recent improvement will see them victorious on Friday night

Espanyol's appointment of Javier Aguirre as their new manager at the end of last year has had the desired effect for the Catalans with the Mexican overseeing just one defeat in the six games he has been at the helm - and that was against Barcelona.

As well as an excellent draw at the Bernabeu, Espanyol have won their last last two home matches against Deportivo and Celta respectively, keeping two clean sheets in the process. William Hill price them at 10/11 (1.91) to win on Friday evening and that looks like an excellent bet.

Mallorca meanwhile are offered at 3/1 (4.00) but given their recent form there is little to inspire confidence in a side who have won just one of their last 11 league matches away from home.

Indeed Mallorca's malaise stems largely from their chronic inability to keep clean sheets having conceded in each of their last 14 top flight matches.

With Espanyol finding the net with increasing regularity in recent games there is reason to believe that they will be too strong for the side from Palma who have slipped into the relegation zone having lost ten of their last 14 matches.

As Espanyol have scored in the first half in each of their last three games at home, backing them to lead at half-time and full-time at 21/10 (3.10) looks like an excellent option for a value bet.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Espanyol to win at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill
Espanyol half time/full time at 21/10 (3.10) with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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