CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Saturday's La Liga showdown between Espanyol and Alaves.
Espanyol v Alaves | Saturday 13th June 2020, 13:00 | La Liga TV
Bottom of the table Espanyol welcome Alaves to the city of Barcelona knowing it is imperative that they start picking up results. Espanyol sit six points from safety and have to improve on the fact that they currently possess the worst home record in the division.
Alaves – also known as El Glorioso – are six points clear of the relegation places and whilst the main focus will be to confirm their status as a La Liga football club for next season, breaking into the top half of the table is still feasible.
- Commit on average 16 fouls per game when playing at home (the 4th most).
- Receive on average 12.6 fouls per game when playing at home.
- When playing teams in the bottom half at home, this season they have seen a first half card in 4/4 and 3+ cards in 3/4.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ second half cards in 2/4 games.
- XG for at home is just 13.82 but they have only scored 12.
- XG against at home is 19.92 but they have conceded 24.
- Have conceded 2+ in 3/4 of their games at home to teams in the bottom half – only kept a clean sheet against fellow relegation candidates Mallorca.
- Have the worst home record in the league winning just 1 in 13.
- Struggle with defending counters and often commit fouls in dangerous areas.
- Commit on average 15.8 fouls per game away from home (the second most).
- Receive on average 11.2 fouls per game away from home.
- When playing teams in the bottom half away from home this season they have seen a first half card in 5/5, a second half card in 5/5 and 2+ in 5/5.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ in 3/5.
- XG for away from home is 12.02 but they have only scored 11.
- XG against away from home is 26.39 and they have shipped 26.
- Have scored in 4/5 games away to the bottom half.
- Have the third worst disciplinary record in La Liga.
Even with 11 games to go, Espanyol are fighting for their lives and with just one win out of 13 at home, drastic improvement is essential – I expect this game will turn into a bit of a dogfight and that may play into the hands of Alaves.
The home side commit the fourth-most fouls at home per game on average. Likewise Alaves commit the second most on average per game away. Combine that with the fact it looks as if Pablo González Fuertes will be the referee in charge of this fixture then you have all the ingredients required for a card fest.
Fuertes ranks as the highest out of all the La Liga referees for fouls awarded per game with 32.23.