As the Spanish La Liga season comes to a close, it is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the season that the teams have had. For Granada’s season, horrendous is perhaps the word that describes it best. They have been poor in all areas of the field, be it attack or defense. Their lack of cohesion in the team means that Granada will be relegated to the second division of Spanish Football tier. For their visitors Espanyol, this has been another decent season; with a respectable mid table finish almost theirs. They can still climb up to as high as 8th, provided they win their last match and opponents above them falter.
GRANADA CF vs. RCD ESPANYOL
3-Way: 1: GRANADA CF +368; X: +286 Draw; 2: RCD ESPANYOL -120
Spread +0.5: 1: GRANADA CF +116; 2: RCD ESPANYOL -123
Total +2.5: Over -130; Under +125
Their league position is a testament in itself that shows that Granada have had a really poor season. Even when they had talented youngsters who showed positive signs early on, it was always going to be a difficult season after they had a poor start, and only four wins in total coming mostly midway through the season.
Granada even tried appointing legendary defender Tony Adams as their manager towards the end of the season in a desperate hope to repair their season and save the club from relegation. However, the former Gunner’s efforts weren’t enough, as Granada was soon confirmed as relegated. Now this last match will be a chance to show some efforts that will make the fans will better after such a dismal season.
Sitting at the rock bottom of the 20 team league, Granada has accumulated only 20 points, with all their wins coming at home, as they have managed only a meager 4 draws at home, totaling 4 points only. They have lost all of their last 6 matches. Their last match was defeat against relegation partners Osasuna, where their lack of precision in front of goal was punished by the now 19th placed club, and defeated 2:1. Before that match, they were smashed 4:0 at home by current Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
Their attack has been the worst in the Spanish La Liga. A combination of irregular attacking play and lack of incisiveness in front of the goal has resulted in the team not being able to create and convert enough chances this season. The Nazaries have managed to score only 29 goals this season, with 16 of them coming at home. Along with their attack, their backline has also been porous and conceded goals every now and then. The Granada defense has been breached a massive 80 times this season, only better than Osasuna. 30 of those goals have been conceded at home.
Forward Artme Kravets is the leader in league goals for the team, with 5 to his name, along with 2 assists also. Mehdi Gonzles is close behind with 5 goals and a solitary assist. Manchester United loanee Andreas Pereira has been doing his bit in providing attacking flair. The youngster has contributed with 4 goals and 3 assists. Striker Adrian Ramos has also scored 4 goals.
There are a few injury doubts for coach Tony Adams for the final league game of the season. Artem Kravets and Franck Tabanou ( Sprained ankles) along with Mubarak Wakaso are all injury doubts for the match. Matthieu Saunier is out for the season due to a hamstring injury. Dimitri Foulqier is suspended for the final match of the season.
The Barcelona based team is coming towards the end of another decent season in the Spanish La Liga, where they have mixed good results every now and then to get enough points for a respectable mid table finish. The club can still finish 8th in the league, provided they win the last match and the teams right above falter, so this aspect can be a crucial motivator for Coach Qique Sanchez Flores’ men.
Espanyol has been very good to watch at times, snapping up a counter attack of nowhere, as well as plunging on to loose balls to create a chance. Even though they haven’t been consistent in producing good results, they have produced enough points to ensure that they will be able to garner a mid table finish in all probability.
Espanyol has collected 53 points in the Spanish La Liga, with 29 of those coming at home. Their current league record over the last 5 games is 1-1-3. Their last match was a disappointing loss against Valencia 1:0 at home, where they lost to 75th minute strike by Luis Gaya. Before that, they managed to draw away against Gijon, with the score being 1:2. Espanyol has lost all of their last three games away in the league; a trend they will like to end in the weekend match against Granada.
Even though Espanyol haven’t been absolutely rampaging in attack, it is fair to say that they have a team that can score goals. They have managed to score 47 goals in the Spanish La Liga, with 28 of those coming at home. The defense has been impressive at times in shutting opponents out. Still, they have let in 49 goals, with 25 of those being conceded in away games. However, they have managed to keep 11 clean sheets too.
Forward Gerard Moreno is the go to man for the team when it comes to scoring goals. The forward has managed to score 13 league goals till now, along with 4 assists. But not just him, they team also has been very lucky to have Pablo Piatti in their ranks. The diminutive argentine winger has scored and assisted 10 goals each in the league, which has helped Espanyol to get points from matches. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez has been keeping things tight at the back, with 11 clean sheets to his name, bettered by only 3 other players.
There are a lot of players that are doubtful for the weekend match. Marc Navarro, Pape Diop, Jose Jurado, Aaron Caricol, and Jose Antonio Reyes, all are major doubts due to various foot injuries. Salva Sevilla is also a concern due to Illness. Oscar Gaitan and Javi Lopez are both out for the season.
GRANADA CF vs. RCD ESPANYOL MATCH PREDICTION
Based on current form, this match looks like a match that can turn out in any team’s favor. Granada has been horrible this season, and are relegated already, but have the home advantage.
Espanyol is playing away, but they have decent players who are fit and firing this season, and have enough in their tanks to hurt the Granada team. Even though Espanyol hasn’t been in the best of forms, I believe that their players will have enough experience and class to help them win this contest.
Therefore, my prediction will be an away win for Espanyol. Both teams to score is also a nice option to lay some money on, even though it is offered at -135 at the moment.
MY PICK: RCD ESPANYOL (-120)
Additional Pick: Both teams to score YES (-135)
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