Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Espanyol return to the Europa League following a 12-year absence. Los Periquitos have been handed an easy draw in the second qualifying round, with the team facing Iceland side Stjarnan in the double-header. The Catalan outfit aim to get their job done in the first leg and seeing that they have turned their RCDE Stadium into a real fortress, we predict that David Gallego’s troops are going to emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match.
Borja Iglesias, who scored 17 goals in the 2018/2019 La Liga season, is likely to lead the line for the hosts. Stjarnan, on the other hand, defeated Levadia on away goal rule in round 1, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in the RCDE Stadium clash. Given the number of high-profile players in the Catalan side, the Icelanders are likely to return home empty-handed from the trip to Barcelona.
Highlighted Player (Javi Lopez):
Javi Lopez is Spanish footballer who plays for La Liga side Espanyol. Lopez plays for the Catalan outfit as a midfielder, but he is capable of playing at full back as well. After spending his youth career at Real Betis, he moved to Espanyol in 2007 and he was playing for the B squad between 2007 and 2010.
Under Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino he was promoted to the first team and he has been playing for Espanyol in La Liga ever since. He made his Espanyol debut on 4 October, 2009 in a goalless draw with Villarreal. Javi Lopez was born in Osuna, Andalusia, but he lives with his family in Barcelona. The Spanish player was born on 21 January.
His contract with Espanyol expires on 30 June, 2018 and it has to be noted that his market value in July, 2016 was €3 million. Following Sergio Garcia’s departure he was named Espanyol captain for the 2015/2016 La Liga campaign.
Highlighted Team (Espanyol):
Espanyol are a Catalan club that plays in Spanish La Liga. Espanyol were founded in 1900 and their original name was Sociedad Espanola de Football. In 1901 the Catalan club changed its name to Club Espanol de Futbol. Los Periquitos used to play in bright yellow shirts in the past, but current colour of the team’s home kit is blue and white.
Espanyol’s fiercest rivals are Barcelona and the two teams face each other in the Catalan derby (Derbi barceloni). Espanyol have always been in Barca’s shadow, but it has to be noted that los Periquitos have won four Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup trophies).
The likes of Raul Tamudo, Jose Maria, Antonio Argiles and Mauricio Pochettino are players with most appearances for the Catalan outfit. Espanyol play their home games at Estadio Cornella-El Prat and the capacity of the stadium is 40,500. Los Periquitos have never participated in the Champions League.