Mallorca v Espanyol – Estadi de Son Moix at 11:00 GMT+1
Mallorca returned to Spain’s top-flight this season after an incredible two campaigns, earning back-to-back promotions. Los Bermellones completed the job in style, sealing a sensational comeback in La Liga 2’s play-off final, beating Deportivo 3-0 in the second leg to overcome a two-goal deficit from the first.
Head coach Vicente Moreno was expecting a tough campaign ahead with the islanders unable to splash the cash on major upgrades and overhauls. The club were quiet in the transfer window, and lost three regular starters in talented full-back Salva Ruiz and Pervis Estupiñán, and midfield general Alejandro Faurlin.
Mallorca finished 18 points behind champions Osasuna in the Segunda and so it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the newcomers sitting second-from-bottom in the embryonic La Liga ladder. The club’s solitary success (W1-D1-L5) came when Los Bermellones were second-best against Eibar on the opening weekend.
The Estadi de Son Moix hosts have been nilled in five of their first seven contests, although the Balearic boys will be hopeful of arresting their alarming run on Sunday morning when fellow strugglers Espanyol arrive.
Los Periquitos (W1-D2-L4) fell to a dreadful 2-0 home defeat to Valladolid last time out and boss David Gallego has now been given this week to save his job by owner Chen Yansheng. However, it won’t be easy with Espanyol facing a draining Thursday night Europa League trip to Moscow before travelling to Mallorca.
Fortunately for the Barcelona-based club, they’ve offered more going forward when playing away. Los Periquitos have scored just one goal at their RCDE Stadium in La Liga, and even then it came via a Joseba Zaldua own goal. As such, Espanyol have had their worst ever start at home in the Spanish top-flight.
Goals too big to ignore?
On the surface, Sunday’s showdown pits together two teams with little positivity to shout about. With the pair unable to consistently trouble the scoresheet, it’s no surprise to see a goal-heavy game priced up as a big outsider this weekend.
However, Over 2 Goals could look too big to ignore at 1.80. knowing our stake is returned should exactly two goals be notched – only losing our money should fewer than two goals be scored. I’m happy to take a calculated chance on these two strugglers giving us a push at the very least.
Mallorca have hit the woodwork in every encounter they’ve played this season and their Expected Goals (xG) output ranks the home side in mid-table. Meanwhile, Espanyol’s 0.77 xG from open play average puts the guests just outside the leading lights, again highlighting the threat these two can pose.
The duo are both seeing xG match average above the line with a worrisome defence largely to blame for their faults with the pair collecting a combined two clean sheets from their first 14 fixtures in 2019/20.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.00 at 1.800
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.