Preview: Eibar-Espanyol

Eibar and Espanyol will both be looking to leave the struggle behind in La Liga by extending their winning runs at Ipurua on Sunday.

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar on his side’s recent improvement: “We have a lot of new players and it’s hard for them to do what the Coach wants so quickly.

“We thought that with preseason, it would be enough for them, but we didn’t give a rounded performance until the game against Betis.

“Ultimately, everything is based on belief and the win against Betis helped us in that sense.

“We’ve had three good games, but the season is long and it’s difficult to play like this all the time. There will be a team that won’t let us play how we want.”

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores on the return of Marc Roca: “When you make decisions, they aren’t final.

“I’ve made the decision that Roca will stay. We’re going to insist that Roca can be that player we fell in love with last season. The situation wasn’t irreversible.

“The second season is always harder than the first. He was at his best last season and an important player for us.

“He then had an injury that took away his rhythm. He knows he hasn’t returned to the same freshness from when he got us out of the woods.

“He took on a role of pressure, anxiety and too much responsibility, and those things took him down a fair bit. The first effort must come from us, we count on these young lads.”

Eibar (probable): Dmitrovic; Capa, Oliveira, Arbilla, Junca; Alejo, Jordan, Dani Garcia, Inui; Kike, Enrich

Injuries/suspensions: Riesgo, Rivera, Fran Rico, Yoel, Leon (I) Charles (S)

Valencia (probable): Pau; Victor Sanchez, David Lopez, Hermoso, Aaron; Jurado, Darder, Fuego, Piatti; Sergio Garcia, Gerard

Injuries/suspensions: Javi Lopez, Adrian Lopez (I)

Referee: Undiano Mallenco

Form guide: Eibar – 16th (W W L D L) Espanyol – 13th (W L L W D)

Previous meeting: Eibar 1-1 Espanyol

Venue: Ipurua

Kick-off time: 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET

La Liga - Club News