Real Sociedad remain in prime position to qualify for the Champions League but they face a tough trip to an on-form Espanyol side this Sunday.
Espanyol have not lost at home under Javier Aguirre and ended a run of three games without a goal by beating Malaga 2-0 away from home last time out. Wakaso Mubarak will miss the game through suspension but Espanyol coped well without the Ghanaian when he was away on African Cup of Nations duty, winning five of seven games with only Barcelona defeating Aguirre’s side.
Sociedad have been the surprise package this season and have shown no signs of letting up in recent weeks with three victories from their last three away games including wins at Atletico Madrid and Bilbao. Particularly impressive when considering the Basque side started the season with four straight losses on the road. Whether they can hold off Valencia in the race for the final Champions League spot remains to be seen but they have a good chance to put some pressure on this weekend with Valencia making the tough trip to the Vicente Calderon to play Atletico. Currently Valencia are priced at 7/4 to make the top four with Sociedad at 9/5 (Bet365).
Espanyol won the previous meeting in San Sebastian earlier this season which came at a time when they were struggling at the foot of the table. At Nou Estadi, Sociedad also haven’t won since 2002 and have lost on three of their last four visits. Advantage has to go to Espanyol then and with the two sides evenly priced at 7/4, we feel the value lies in a home win. there is always the sense that as good as Sociedad have been this season, eventually their fine run will come to an end. Espanyol’s record under Aguirre speaks for itself as does their recent head-to-head with Sociedad so another home win looks the bet.