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Exhausted Celta look set to struggle

Celta Vigo celebrate last season's opening goal at Espanyol
1 of 1

La Liga
8.30pm Wednesday

Celta Vigo have a Europa League round-of-16 tie against Krasnodar next week to look forward to but they have taken their eye off the ball in La Liga and may struggle to justify favouritism at home to mid-table Espanyol.

The fixtures have been coming thick and fast for Celta, who have played 15 times this year.

Last week was especially tough. Celta needed extra-time to post a 2-0 win away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday (ensuring a 2-1 aggregate success) and just three days later they were back in action, drawing 1-1 away to La Liga strugglers Sporting Gijon.

Their performance away to Gijon was below par and a further two days rest is unlikely to have sufficiently recharged the batteries for a tricky clash with Espanyol.

The timing of the fixture looks better for Espanyol, who have played just eight games since the turn of the year, winning four, drawing one and losing three.

They also played on Sunday - hosting basement boys Osasuna - but were barely tested in a routine 3-0 victory.

Quique Sanchez Flores's side have made steady progress since a slow start to the season which yielded one win in nine league games.

Their last 15 games have produced 27 points and they have put themselves into a position where they can think about pushing for Europa League qualification.

Espanyol are sometimes guilty of playing too cautiously on their travels and have posted just one away win since the end of November.

But three of their four away league defeats have come against the top three - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Seville - so they will fancy their chances of avoiding defeat against mid-table opponents.

Recommendation
Espanyol or draw double chance
2pts 10-11 general

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Espanyol are sometimes guilty of playing too cautiously on their travels and have posted just one away win since the end of November
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