La Liga preview round 30: Athletic Bilbao & Espanyol look to boost European chances previews the games for Round 30 of La Liga

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Sunday (all times CET)

17:00 Real Sociedad - Hercules
17:00 Levante - Malaga
17:00 Espanyol - Racing Santander
17:00 Deportivo La Coruna - Mallorca


21:00 Almeria - Athletic Bilbao

Real Sociedad - Hercules
  • In the history of the Spanish first division, Hercules have never won at Anoeta, and have not picked up a point there since 1981.
  • Hercules have failed to find the back of the net in 9 of their last 11 league matches. Should they fail to score in this match, Hercules will equal Deportivo´s 1966 record of 12 consecutive league matches without scoring on the road.
  • Real Sociedad have conceded the most goals from direct free kicks in the competition (four).

Real Sociedad

The Basque team have a full squad at their disposal, with key man Griezmann back safe and uninjured from the international break.


This will be the first test for new coach Djukic, the Serbian 42 year old having replaced Esteban Vigo following the loss to Osasuna which left the team from Alicante in last place. Pena has also told the media on Thursday morning that he has recovered from his injury and is available to play.

Levante - Malaga
  • Levante have played Malaga three times in the Primera Division, losing on all three occasions.
  • The Valencian side are on a run of five games without a loss, their best-ever such run in the Spanish top flight.
  • Malaga have won back-to-back league games for the first time this season, with wins over Real Sociedad and Espanyol.

Felipe Caicedo has been receiving oxygen therapy this week to speed up the recovery of his muscle injury, and is very unlikely to be fit for the game. Jefferson Montero returned safely to training this week after playing with Ecuador in the international break. Nano also returns to training after overcoming tonsillitis.


Los Boquerones are coming of the back of two victories after a series of poor displays that left them consistently fighting to get out of the relegation zone. A rejuvenated Malaga, with its recently aquired individual talents, could well cause Levante problems.

Espanyol - Racing Santander
  • Racing have lost only once in their last five visits to Espanyol in the Primera Division (three wins, one draw).
  • The Catalans have drawn only once in the league this season.
  • Racing hold the record for failing to score with the most penalties in the league this season (five).
  • Racing have won only one of their last seven away league matches.

Baena will be out for around 6 weeks after tests carried out yesterday confirm that he has a serious leg injury. Sergio Garcia will also be unavailable for the match, as he is continuing treament for the injury to his meniscus.

The team will be hoping that internation duty this week for Lacen, Rosenberg and Giovani will not hinder their performance in what looks to be a difficult match.

Deportivo - Mallorca
  • Deportivo are unbeaten in their last five league clashes at home to Mallorca.
  • 5 of the 12 points Mallorca have picked up in away games this season have come in their last four matches.
  • Mallorca have scored just once in their last four league trips to Deportivo.
  • Deportivo´s defenders have scored 30% of their team´s league goals this season, more than any other side.


Claudio Morel has recovered from an abductor injury, and will likely play left back at the expense of Manual Pablo. Desmarets is also out.


Sergi missed training yesterday due to muscle discomfort, but may play in tomorrow's game. Apart from that, Michael Laudrup has a full squad at his disposal, with the internationals arriving back uninjured.

Almeria - Athletic Bilbao
  • Almeria have lost their last three meetings with Athletic in La Liga.
  • Almeria are, along with Sporting, the side who have drawn the most league matches this season (11).
  • Athletic Bilbao have taken just one point from their last four away games.
  • Los Leones striker Fernando Llorente has not gone four straight league matches without scoring this season, though he has failed to find the net in his last three.

Acasiete has been training alone after spending ten days with the national team, with Uche also recovering after a international stint with Nigeria.

Athletic Bilbao
Gomez, Aurtenetxe, Fernandez, Ocio and Aldekoatalora are all out with various injuries. Igor Martinez is doubtful after a strain in yesterday's training session, but Javi Martinez and Llorente are back from international duty with no complications.

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