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Matchday 2 of the Spanish La Liga 2022-23 begins with Espanyol hosting Rayo Vallecano this Friday.
Playing its second consecutive season in the top flight, Espanyol put up a brave performance against Celta Vigo in the season opener. Trailing the hosts 2-0 by the 63rd minute, Edu Exposito scored in the 72nd minute to give hope to the fans, and striker Joselu struck in the final moments of the stoppage time through a penalty, allowing the Catalan club to share the spoils. Playing its first season under the new coach Diego Martinez, Espanyol will need to work hard on its defense, if it wants to finish in the top half of the table this season.
Just like their opponents, Rayo Vallecano is also playing its second consecutive season in La Liga. Vallecano began its fresh sojourn by facing another Catalan club, FC Barcelona, and managed to hold them to a goalless draw. Coach Andoni Iraola will consider that as an achievement as the current Barcelona squad looks more menacing compared to last year’s, especially after the inclusion of players like Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Kounde.
After a solid start to the previous season, Vallecano lost its way towards the end, and even flirted with relegation, before finishing 12th on the points table. Iraola will hope that his high-risk high-reward strategy will work better this time, especially given his team’s solid record against Espanyol in recent encounters.
Match prediction and football betting tips for RCD Espanyol vs Rayo Vallecano La Liga 2022-23. The match is going to be played at Estadi Cornella-El Prat, Barcelona, on 19th August 2022.
The home team has a fully fit squad at its disposal. However, the top contributor from the previous season, Raul de Tomas may not be considered for this game as he is looking for an exit. Sergi Darder, Brian Olivan, and Oscar Gil are likely to earn another start.
As for the visitors, Andres Martin is likely to be out of action for a few weeks as he nurses an injured shoulder. Veteran goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski, put up a stellar show last weekend, stopping 6 Barcelona efforts to allow his team earns a crucial point. With Sergi Guardiola back to Real Valladolid, the goal-scoring duties will rest on the shoulders of Alvaro Garcia and Falcao.
Both the teams have shown grit and determination in their opening games, but we do not see any team enjoying a significant advantage in what promises to be an engaging encounter.
Bet on a draw.
4 of the last 5 matches between the two clubs, including the club friendlies, have seen less than 2.5 goals scored in them. Vallecano has managed just 3 clean sheets against Espanyol in the top flight when the latter play at home. 3 of the last 5 top-flight matches for Espanyol and 7 of the last 10 matches for Vallecano have produced fewer than 3 goals in them, adding weight to our recommendation.
In 8 of the last 13 head-to-head encounters between the two clubs, a BTTS bet has won. Vallecano has scored at least once in 6 of its last 8 top-flight matches, while Espanyol has done so in 4 of its last 5 such games. We are therefore backing a BTTS bet here.