Espanyol embark on a first European campaign since 2006 when they host Icelandic outfit Stjarnan in the second round of Europa League qualifying. The Spaniards impressively finished in 7th spot in the previous season, ahead of the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Real Betis and Villarreal and will fancy their chances of toppling the opposition.
Where and when: RCDE Stadium, Barcelona – 25 July, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Espanyol vs. Stjarnan: William Hill live streaming
Last time: The sides have yet to meet in competitive action.
Stjarnan/Espanyol – Half Time/Full Time
|Over 4.5 goals||6/2||Offer|
|Espanyol to win 3-0||4/1||Offer|
Espanyol v Stjarnan Predictions and Preview
Espanyol go in to the tie as overwhelming favourites and have a host of names who have featured in European competition. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014 while team-mate Esteban Granero has also played for Los Blancos.
Meanwhile, Marc Roca, who starred at the European Under-21 Championship for Spain, is attracting interest from German giants Bayern Munich but will turn out for his current employers on Thursday.
The White and Blue’s can no longer call on the services of star defender Mario Hermoso, after the 24-year-old sealed a move to Atletico Madrid. The imposing centre-half caught the eye of Premier League holders Manchester City and it was a real coup for Diego Simeone in securing Hermoso’s signature.
Star striker Borja Iglesias is 6/2 to open the scoring and he has proven his credentials over the past 12 months. Iglesias hit 22 in 39 appearances for Real Zaragoza in 2017, before notching 17 in 37 for Espanyol last year.
Iglesias has a relatively modest release clause of €28 million and if he continues to score at a similar rate, he is likely to be in demand by a host of clubs both in La Liga and on the continent. The White and Blue’s are 1/20 to claim a first-leg lead.
Visitors Stjarnan are an astonishing 100/1 to beat their more esteemed challengers. The Icelanders are participating in European competition for the fifth time in their 59-year history. Stjarnan are 25/1 to register in both halves of action.
One to watch for Espanyol: Chinese sensation Wu Lei signed in January and has now acclimatised to his new surroundings. The winger is 6/1 to bag anytime during the 90 minutes.
One to watch for Stjarnan: Hilmar Árni Halldórsson was rewarded for his fine club form with a call-up to the international setup last year and knows where the net is. The forward is 11/1 to strike first.
Long shot: Espanyol are formidable on home soil, winning 10 and drawing three of their league matches last term. The White and Blue’s could conceivably put the tie to bed after the first-leg and an early goal would set the tone for a convincing win. A 5-0 triumph is 7/1.