In the relegation zone and knowing that from there will not leave the end of the eighteenth round of the 2017/2018 Spanish Championship, Malaga closes the day on Monday, January 8. In the stadium La Rosaleda will receive Espanyol. The confrontation is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. (Brasília time).
Málaga’s recent performance
After two straight defeats in the last rounds of La Liga in 2017 for Betis (2-0 at home) and Alavés (1-0 away), Málaga intensified the training and scheduled a friendly against Hamburg, who is in the relegation zone of the German Championship, for Thursday, January 4. He picked it up again. Now for 2 to 1.
The club’s performance in the training game was not enough to boost their fans’ hopes of a reaction that would prevent them from relegating to LaLiga 2. With 11 points (three wins, two draws and 12 losses) Málaga started the round in the nineteenth (penultimate) position. The distance to the Alaves, seventeenth and first out of the sticking region, was four points.
Thus, not even the win on Monday will be enough to take the team from the last three block in the classification of the Spanish Championship. It is not very difficult to find explanations for the campaign below Malaga’s expectations. Just look at the number of goals scored column. With 13 goals in 17 games, the team has the second worst attack of the Spanish Championship. To make matters worse, the defense has been insufficient to compensate for this deficiency. Drawn on 31 chances appears as the third worst of the tournament.
To try to improve the situation, coach Michel should promote on Monday the Chilean midfielder Iturra as the starter. He entered the vacancy of Esteban Rolan in the second half of the friendly against Hamburg. It was enough to convince the coach that the player contracted next to Cadiz, of the Second Division, can help him to avoid the relegation.
The current form of Espanyol
Although he is in a better situation, Espanyol also have to worry about relegation. Injection of optimism after Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid, runner-up of the tournament, was due on Thursday, January 4, when, also in their stadium , the club of Barcelona took 2 to 1 of the Leganés.
The game was worth the round of first leg round of the King’s Cup Spain. It does not influence LaLiga’s leaderboard, but has halted the moral recovery attempt of a team that has lost three of the last five games.
With 20 points (five wins, five draws and seven defeats), Espanyol was in 15th place at the end of day 17. The decline in self-esteem was not the only problem caused by the fall against Levante. Midfielder Oscar Duarte (two matches in the 2017/2018 Spanish League, without a goal) suffered a knee injury and became doubtful for Monday’s match. New tests will indicate the severity of the injury.
The Paraguayan Hernán Perez (four games, no goal) is another that should not be related. Not from injury, but from technical issues. Coach Quique Flores does not want to keep the athlete in the roster and the club seeks to negotiate it in the January transfer window.
History of the matches Málaga and Espanyol
Espanyol defend a ten-game unbeaten record against their rivals. Since 2012, he has won five games and drew another five.
There has been lack of quality in the football of the two teams, which indicates some balance to the confrontation. By acting at home, Málaga is the best option for guess. It has a price of 2.45 in Rivalo. Tie pays prize of 3.10 and successful visitor triples the amount invested.