Espanyol v Sevilla Betting Tips: Hosts can put Sampaoli’s men to the test

Jan 28 2017

Espanyol welcome Sevilla to RCDE Stadium on Sunday afternoon where both teams will be looking to follow on from good results last time out.

Much has been made about the job Sampaoli has been doing at Sevilla and it’s hard to be negative about the progress of the Andalusian club under the Argentine; however, their performance on the road last weekend wasn’t at all convincing so there is definitely cause for optimism as far as the home fans are concerned. Much like the visitors under their new coach, Espanyol have been enjoying a good campaign with former Watford boss Quique Sánchez Flores at the helm. The side from Barcelona currently find themselves inside the top-half and come into this fixture off the back of a pleasing 3-1 home win last weekend.

From a betting point of view, although this probably goes against the views of most, the visitors are worth opposing in this one. Defensively, they’ve struggled a bit on the road, especially against the so called smaller teams, while Espanyol have shown up well on their own patch. ‘Espanyol Draw No Bet’ and ‘Espanyol to Score Over 0.5 First Half Goals’, at odds of 8/5 and 13/10 respectively, are the two angles of attack.

Although they haven’t always treated their fans to the most exciting action this season, Espanyol, when playing at home, have been very steady indeed. From ten outings at RCDE Stadium, they’ve lost just twice (against Celta and Real Madrid) and come into this one having resisted defeat in each of their last seven at home. Flores’ men have conceded jut six goals in those seven matches, keeping three clean sheets, and, although it might’ve have taken them a while to come to the boil in an attacking sense, they’ve scored 12 goals during that time.

Opposing Sevilla might not look like the easiest choice here and they do bring with them the second best away record in all of La Liga. However, despite scoring 21 goals away from home, they’ve also conceded 14 and have been guilty of some very sloppy defending at times, particularly in fixtures where they’ve been considered favourites. They scraped past Osasuna last time out having shipped three goals, while their three clean sheets away from home isn’t the most admirable tally considering they’re being talked about as potential title challengers.

The style that these two teams tend to adopt might just favour the hosts here too. Sevilla, with a disciple of the renowned Bielsa in charge, favour a high-pressing/high-line game. Such a system often allows them to suffocate their opposition, but against a fairly solid, counter-attacking side, the visitors could easily encounter problems. On top of this, Sampaoli’s side have made a bit of habit of starting slowly and, more importantly, conceding early when playing away from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Five of the visitors’ ten away matches have seen them concede at least once before the break.

Sevilla may well be a team worthy of their lofty position, but, considering that most of their best work has been done on their own stomping ground, a fixture against solid opposition away from home isn’t the time to be getting behind them.

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