Valencia’s record of beating Espanyol and getting themselves booked serves to make the perfect combination for a New Year’s Eve Bet Builder from our props column, says Paul Higham…
It’s a one-sided encounter to end the year in La Liga as Valencia host Espanyol – who they have won more games against than anyone else in Spanish football.
Valencia very much wish they could play Espanyol every week, as the chant goes, given they’ve beaten them 80 times in La Liga history and have a pretty good recent run going on too.
Espanyol haven’t won on their last 12 visits to the Mestalla, losing 10, while overall Valencia have lost just one of the last nine meetings and have kept five clean sheets in the last seven.
The side from Barcelona have been terrible away from home in La Liga too, with no wins in their last 18 trips they’re hardly a side you fancy could end Valencia’s nine game unbeaten run.
It’s also a one-sided affair if we’re talking about bookings, as it’s saints versus sinners here with Valencia top of the bad boy charts in La Liga with 62 bookings this season – that’s eight more than notorious scrappers Getafe.
Espanyol, by contrast, have just 37 yellow cards to their names this term – and only three teams have been shown less.
Valencia have a way of dragging teams into the trenches though, having seen their opponents match their tally of 62 cards shown when facing them – 32 of those cards coming at the Mestalla.
Interestingly, Espanyol may not get booked a lot but they get their opponents booked, especially when they’re playing away from home, where their hosts have been booked a league-leading 34 times.
It’s therefore quite a simple formula to conclude that Valencia should really be winning this game – and should be stacking up the card count again, so let’s combine the two for our New Year’s Eve Bet Builder to end the year with a winner!