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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Solid La Liga hosts should avoid shock

Espanyol are generally well-organised under coach Quique Sanchez Flores
1 of 1

Copa del Rey fourth-round second leg
6.30pm Thursday

Espanyol have won the Copa del Rey twice since the turn of the century, in 2000 and 2006, and they can advance to the last 16 of this season's competition by winning at home to Segunda Division Tenerife in the second leg of their fourth-round tie.

Tenerife are unbeaten in nine home matches this season so it was no great surprise that they held Espanyol to a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

But the Canary Islanders have been far less successful on the road, winning twice in nine matches, and have lost on each of their last six visits to Espanyol.

Tenerife are 11th in the second tier – three points outside the playoffs – and their main goal threat comes from on-loan Inter striker Samuele Longo, scorer of seven goals this term including four in his last four appearances.

But Longo might not get much change out of a well-drilled Espanyol side who have posted clean sheets in their last three La Liga home games.

The Blue Budgies edged up to 12th with a 1-0 win at home to Getafe on Monday, increasing the gap to the relegation zone to nine points.

There is a long way to go but they seem unlikely to push for European qualification or get dragged into a relegation battle.

They have gained a reputation for being a good cup side and their manager Quique Sanchez Flores has an affinity for the Copa del Rey, having led Atletico Madrid to the final in 2010.

Espanyol are likely to take the competition seriously and look solid odds-on favourites to progress without the need for extra-time.

Recommendation
Espanyol
1pt 6-10 Betfred

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The Canary Islanders have been less successful on the road, winning twice in nine matches, and have lost on each of their last six visits to Espanyol
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