Las Palmas v Espanyol – Estadio Gran Canaria at 17:30 Live at Sky Sports

Espanyol this week claimed there are no plans to dismiss head coach Quique Sanchez Flores despite increasing fan unrest amidst the Parakeets recent slide down the La Liga standings to 16th.

The former Watford manager signed a three-year contract at the Catalan club in the summer of 2016 and despite guiding the club to eighth in the league last season, the current campaign has proved more difficult.

Monday night’s home defeat in a Catalan derby with Girona brought whistles and white handkerchiefs from the home fans. It was Espanyol’s fourth reverse in five but owner Chen Yansheng said he was ‘calm’ and still ‘trusts’ Flores leadership skills.

Goals hard to come by for Espanyol

It’s easy to see where and why Espanyol have been struggling. Sunday’s visitors have managed a league-low 11 goals in their 15 matches thus far, grabbing only four goals in their most recent nine encounters.

Indeed, only Levante (0.73) return a lower Expected Goals from open play per-game figure than the Parakeets (0.75) although the Barcelona-based club boasts the best defensive record outside the top-eight.

As a result, 11 of Espanyol’s 15 fixtures this season have fallen below the 2.5 goals line and 65% of their 26 away days under Flores have featured fewer than three strikes, so backing a repeat at 1.92 looks the best angle of attack here.

Las Palmas struggling on and off the pitch

At the time of writing, Las Palmas is yet to appoint their next new head coach with Jorge Almiron and Paco Jemez the two names in the running. Whichever way the Canary Islanders opt to go, the new boss won’t be in charge for Sunday evening’s encounter.

The Gran Canarian club sits rock-bottom of La Liga with only 10 points from their opening 15 fixtures. The Yellows have been beaten in nine of their last 11 matches, scoring just six goals in that sample, and along with Espanyol, own the worst attack in the division.

Exclude Las Palmas’ meetings with top-six sides and five of their nine outings have delivered in the Under 2.5 Goals market so I’m happy to invest in a repeat here at generous 1.92 odds.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals at 1.920

By @MarkOHaire

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