Preview: Leganes-Espanyol

Espanyol will be looking to end their barren run on the road when they travel to Leganes, who are in dire need of a win themselves.

Espanyol’s home form is keeping them in the race for Europe as they have gone five away games without a victory, making Sunday’s early trip to Butarque a “must-win” in Quique Sanchez Flores’ eyes, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid just around the corner.

“We’re in that final stretch, in which every match is a must-win,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“Our commitment has to be the best it can possibly be. There are unfavourable things like the two important home games [against Barca and Atleti].

“We have room to do better because in the first round of the season, we picked up only a few points against them.

“This forces us to have a great game and win, providing we maintain what we did in the first round. We have to take a step forward in the away games.

“We have the feeling that we need to maintain our levels at home away from it. We played with intensity in Malaga, and we competed very well in Vigo and Eibar.

“Other games were harder, like against Athletic and Villarreal. We didn’t perhaps have that voracity, so we have to give a feeling of voracity. That depends on us.

“We couldn’t care less about our rivals. We want to play with ambition and defiance.”

Leganes have also failed to triumph in any of their previous five, leaving them just as many points above La Liga’s drop zone, and their cause was not helped last weekend by the referee failing to award them two clear penalties in a 2-1 defeat to basement boys Osasuna.

However, boss Asier Garitano asserted: “I don’t think that referees decide games or tables.

“We all make mistakes. You’re not going to hear me complain about the referees, they don’t decide anything, nor your position in the table. I won’t ever complain.

“Our forwards? Seeing as we don’t have so much talent, our forwards have to give us more than just goals.

“It happened in Segunda B and Segunda. Since I’ve been at Leganes, it’s always been the same.

“We have to know who we are and what profile we need to have. I don’t want a player that scores 10 goals but whose team finish bottom.”

Leganes (probable): Herrerin; Tito, Siovas, Mantovani, Marin; Ruben, Moran; El Zhar, Gabriel, Szymanowski; Guerrero

Injuries/suspensions: Diego Rico, Omar, Robert, Serantes (all injured)

Espanyol (probable): Diego Lopez; Javi Lopez, Diego Reyes, David Lopez, Piatti, Aaron; Fuego, Jurado; Gerard, Caicedo

Injuries/suspensions: Alvaro Vazquez (I) Melendo (I) Oscar Duarte (I) Victor Sanchez (S)

Referee: Clos Gomez

Form guide: Leganes (L L D D D) Espanyol (W L W D W)

Previous meeting: Espanyol 3-0 Leganes

Kick-off time: 11:00 BST/12:00 CET