Espanyol V Stjarnan Betting Tips: Espanyol & Over 3.5 Goals – 25 July 2019

Can La Liga outfit rack up the goals?

Europa League Tips

Espanyol V Stjarnan

Thursday 25th July 2019 – 20:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Europa League Second Round
Pick: Espanyol & Over 3.5 Match Goals
Odds: 5/6
Bookmaker: SkyBet

1 X 2
1/100 65/4 50/1

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 23rd July 2019 at 11:22)

Preview: Spanish side Espanyol will feature in their first competitive fixture since the conclusion of the 2018-19 La Liga season, playing the role as hosts in this Europa League second round encounter with Iceland’s Stjarnan. The RCDE Stadium, in Barcelona, is the venue for this first leg.

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Espanyol Preview – Hosts to exhibit their class?

With the Spanish Copa del Rey won by Valencia, who were already assured of a spot in next season’s Champions League, a vacancy in the Europa League opened up for whomever could end the La Liga season in seventh spot. The team that duly obliged were Espanyol, whose superb finish to the campaign ensured it is they who will once again sample football on the continent.

However, this will be their first venture into Europe for over a decade. Since almost winning the UEFA Cup back in 2007 when they ultimately came up just short in the final against their compatriots from Seville. That hasn’t prevented bookmakers from installing them as commanding favourites to reach the next round, though, with most of the opinion that Espanyol are a formality to progress.

Can we expect Espanyol to justify all this backing? Well, they shouldn’t encounter too many issues against very modest opposition. The Spanish side should be stamping their authority on proceedings from the outset, particularly as this first leg is in Spain.

The team nicknamed Periquitos finished last season in terrific form, going undefeated in their final nine games in La Liga (W5 D4). Meanwhile, only five sides could boast a stronger record at home. Espanyol registered eleven of their fourteen La Liga victories inside their RCDE Stadium in Catalonia, where they suffered just one loss in nine (W5 D3 L1) to close out the season, a run that included impressive wins against Atletico Madrid (3-0) and Real Sociedad (2-0).

Espanyol & Both To Score?



Stjarnan Preview – Huge underdogs seeking to avoid heavy defeat?

The one-time Icelandic champions must feel they well and truly lucked out when the draw was made, after being paired with a team from Spain’s La Liga. However, Stjarnan have never been successful in any of their previous attempts at qualification for a European competition and were unlikely to do so on this occasion either. At least now they can inevitably bow out having faced quality opposition from a top league.

There are similarities to their exciting match-up with Italian club Inter Milan back in 2014. On that occasion they were comprehensively beaten in both meetings, but especially so in Italy where they were thrashed 6-0. Considering the Icelanders have struggled in away outings on the continent ever since, the signs are ominous regarding another potentially heavy defeat in Spain.

Stjarnan have failed to avoid defeat in any of their previous six matches away from home in Europe. The latest of which was a 3-2 loss out in Estonia to FCI Levadia. That was in the round prior. Fortunately for them, a 2-1 win back at home meant they squeezed through to this second round stage courtesy of the away goals rule.

Their heaviest defeat, meanwhile, since that chastening experience in Italy was a 5-0 loss in Denmark to FC Copenhagen, which came at this very same stage of the competition twelve months ago. Again, it is ominous stuff. What’s more is that their performances during the current Icelandic league season hardly inspires confidence; they’re already floundering a little in fourth, winning just five of their opening thirteen fixtures (W5 D5 L3).


Espanyol V Stjarnan Key Facts:

  • Espanyol displayed their better form in last season’s La Liga when at home (W11 D3 L5), where 11 of their 14 league victories were earned.
  • Stjarnan have been beaten in their previous six consecutive matches away from home in Europe.
  • This will be Espanyol’s first competitive match of the season, whereas Stjarnan are well into their domestic campaign back in Iceland.


Betting Summary

This should be a case of how many for Espanyol, who are clearly the superior side. This home leg in particular could see them seriously flex some muscles, as the RCDE Stadium was where the Spanish outfit were often at their best in the previous campaign. Periquitos claimed 11 of their 14 victories in the 2018-19 Spanish La Liga from home fixtures.

Stjarnan were only the third-best side in Iceland last season, which speaks volumes about the task at hand here when not even Iceland’s best outfit are tackling what is almost a mission impossible assignment. They’ll be seeking to avoid a seventh consecutive away loss in Europe, failing to even score on five of their previous six outings.

Espanyol’s odds are bordering on non-existent. Therefore, some creativity is required. Personal preference is for Espanyol + Over 3.5 Goals. The hosts could deliver the goods for us on their own, but Stjarnan are reasonably adept at locating the net on their travels, albeit almost exclusively in Iceland, and might lend a helping hand. Especially should the Spaniards display any rustiness. A bold move would be Espanyol & Both Teams to Score at 9/2 with Bet365.