A contest steeped in history might spark memories of La Liga’s (LL) fastest ever goal scored by Real Valladolid’s Joseba Llorente against Espanyol after just 7.3 seconds in 2008! Over the last 15 years and beyond, Valladolid have continued to enjoy the comforts of José Zorrilla when facing the Catalans with the Periquitos failing to win a league game here since 2001 (D5, L4).
Real Valladolid vs Espanyol LIVE ONLINE | LaLiga
Avoiding defeat again would set their longest-ever top-flight unbeaten home streak against Espanyol. That would please people of the Pucelano persuasion as the side have lost their last two league matches, the latest of which was a 3-0 reversal to Celta Vigo, meaning they dangle just one point above the drop zone ahead of the round, albeit they’re unbeaten in their last two LL home outings (W1, D1).
Espanyol are by no means clear of a relegation battle that’s starting to simmer, but they’ve found the form that gives them an opportunity to improve on their torrid record here. Fresh from consecutive league victories they arrive in Castile and León chasing three consecutive LL wins for the first time since 2018/19 – a season which culminated with a finish in the European spots.
“This team has been forged in adversity” according to boss Diego Martínez after their 2-1 triumph over Mallorca. So it’s perhaps little surprise that the Periquitos have flown highest on their travels, and a team which could ultimately face drop zone drama is currently the eighth-best LL side based on away points this season (14).
Players to watch: With just three goals from their last ten league outings (W2, D1, L7) Valladolid will hope for some Pucela power from Cyle Larin, who netted all those strikes. But the hosts had better keep an eye on Martin Braithwaite, whose brace last time out took him to seven LL goals for the season – his best league tally since 2016/17.
Hot streak: Espanyol have not lost a league contest when striking first since February 2022 (W9, D2).