Liga - Villarreal v Espanyol: LIVE
Follow LIVE text commentary of the Liga clash between Villarreal and Espanyol at El Madrigal.
Villarreal striker Nilmar is unavailable due to a muscular injury picked up in the match against Rayo Vallecano. The Brazilian has a groin problem at the top of his left thigh. Italy international Giuseppe Rossi also remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury.
Contract-rebel Espanyol midfielder Javi Marquez is still injured, although has been assured by boss Mauricio Pochettino that he is still an important player. Forward Rui Fonte has a toe injury and misses out, while midfielder Juan Albin is a doubt with a calf problem. Goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez is close to recovery from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since January.
Miguel Angel Lotina: "This is an important game for us to go consolidating the work done so far. To this is that it can be an important step in qualifying and so we face. I do not expect my team to relax or forgetfulness in this game because I have at a distance on the descent, would not be very smart."
Mauricio Pochettino: "The squad are very aware of what is at stake and what lies ahead. I have not seen any relaxation. We know we have an opportunity to continue the positive feelings."
Villarreal are unbeaten in their last eight league meetings with Espanyol (W4 D4), without conceding a single goal in any of these matches (eight scored).
Eight consecutive clean sheets against one side is a record for any team against another in the Spanish top-flight.
Six of the last seven draws between Villarreal and Espanyol in the top flight have finished goalless.
Villarreal are without a win in their last three at El Madrigal in La Liga: they haven’t gone four without a win at home since 2005/06.
Espanyol are without a win in five consecutive league matches on the road, though four of these have been draws.
The amarillos are without a win after conceding first in LigaBBVA games this season (D5 L10).
Espanyol have conceded the joint-most penalties in La Liga this season (six).
Pochettino has beaten Lotina in four of their five meetings in LigaBBVA (just one win for Lotina).
Villarreal 11/10, Espanyol 29/10, Draw 12/5