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Primera División

  • November 6, 2010
  • • 21:00
  • • Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
  • Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
  • • Attendance: 25000
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La Liga Preview: Espanyol - Malaga

La Liga Preview: Espanyol - Malaga

Having sacked Jesualdo Ferreira, los Boquerones will want an immediate impact when they meet los Periquitos...

Keep It Up

Espanyol’s start to the Primera Division could be described as little but positive, though there was a significant set-back for Mauricio Pochettino’s side last weekend when they were easily dispatched by Deportivo La Coruna, and if they don’t want to lose momentum then they must pick up maximum points against a Malaga side who have had a managerial change this week.

Los Periquitos have been a little two faced at the start of the season, romping to four home victories in succession but struggling on the road, where they’ve picked up only three points and have suffered some heavy losses, including last weekend’s reverse at the Riazor. Thankfully for the Catalans, they are at home on Saturday.

Last Sunday’s performance was a thoroughly miserable showing from the Barcelona outfit, who have at least been competitive for spells of their previous trips. On this occasion they were hopeless, though at least they stayed in contention until the final 15 minutes of the game, when the hosts would strike twice.

Pochettino won’t be especially concerned about the home-away split of his side’s form, as it is not a new phenomenon, though of course it is an issue he will wish to remedy. Over the course of last season Espanyol were difficult to beat at the Cornella-El Prat, but were rather easier pickings on the road. They’ve yet to draw this season and they’ve also yet to suffer back-to-back losses, so expect the Blanquiblaus to respond strongly.

Not Smelling Of Roses


Malaga’s beginning to the season has been thoroughly depressing. After being bought in the summer by a member of the Qatari royal family, there were genuine hopes that the Andalucian club could push into a comfortable mid-table position. Rumours of relatively big stars joining los Boquerones never materialised, and the most high profile addition was arguably coach Jesualdo Ferreira.

Little more than two months into the season, the former Porto boss was unceremoniously jettisoned to be replaced by ex-Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, whose greatest crime at the Bernabeu was being unable to usurp a Barcelona side in record-breaking form. The Chilean, who previously enjoyed a highly successful spell with Villarreal, arrives at La Rosaleda with a point to prove but plenty of work to do.

Almost from the outset the southerners have been a disaster. Away victories over Zaragoza, in which a stunning display early in the game had Ferreira’s men 5-0 up only to be pegged back to 5-3, and Getafe did give some hope, but a 2-1 reverse against Real Sociedad on Monday evening proved to be the last straw as far as the board were concerned.

Pointless at home this season, at least Malaga have been going rather better on their travels, though a 3-0 loss away to Osasuna a fortnight ago was rather symptomatic of their alarming decline. A trip to an Espanyol side so reliable in front of their home fans is by no means the easiest introduction to life with los Boquerones for their new boss.

TEAM NEWS

Espanyol

Aldo Duscher faces a lay-off of between two and three weeks after picking up a muscular problem in training this week. This comes as a blow to the hosts, for he has been a regular in their starting XI this season. Javi Chica won’t play either due to tendonitis.

Ernesto Galan is still out with a broken leg, though he is making slow progress to a return to the field, while there are doubts over Javi Marquez (inflammation of the big toe).

Ivan de la Pena and Felipe Mattioni remain sidelined.

Malaga

Albert Luque will miss the weekend’s clash in Barcelona, though a serious injury has been ruled out for the former Newcastle United and Ajax attacker.

Jose Rondon faces a month out of the game due to a problem in his quadriceps, while Ruben Martinez is the only other player sidelined.


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Players to watch

J. Dátolo

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Jesus Datolo has had something of a fracture start to life at Espanyol, having featured only on four occasions thus far, twice as a substitute. He was given his first starting berth last weekend but was unable to especially impress, but the tricky winger will be looking to build upon the two goals he has already scored for his side. Both have come at the Cornella-El Prat, where he could quickly become a hero if he maintains this type of form.

Weligton

Position: Defender

Games: 29

  • 0
  • 13
  • 1
If Malaga are to improve, they must stop the flow of goals that have crippled them of late, and with that in mind they must look to their defence to tighten up. Pellegrini is a coach who will firstly look at the state of the rearguard and attempt to correct its deficiencies, and it’s likely he will build his new unit around Weligton, who has been a key member of the squad for over three years now. Not only can the Brazilian defend, he will pose a threat from set-plays too.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Espanyol

Málaga

Wins
3
2
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol Espanyol
Draw
Málaga Club de Fútbol MAL
Málaga Club de Fútbol Málaga
63%
34%

Top 3 Predictions

Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
0 - 0
Málaga Club de Fútbol MAL
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
1 - 0
Málaga Club de Fútbol MAL
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
2 - 0
Málaga Club de Fútbol MAL

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