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01.12.2007 11:10

Espanyol, with the same squad as last season

Jesús Carrillo

The side managed by Ernesto Valverde is fourth and in the Champions League zone after the first thirteen games. With 25 points, just 2 less than Barça, Espanyol have only lost twice this season.

Espanyol are continuing with the positive dynamic of the last few seasons, and have managed to cling on to most of their squad. Although they have generally struggled to make much impact on the league, they have been solid in knockout competitions. Under Miguel Ángel Lotina they won the Copa del Rey, and last year they finished runners-up in the UEFA Cup without losing a match.

New signings

The losses of players like Gorka Iraizoz, Ito, Pandiani and Eduardo Costa have been covered by such signings as Valdo, Clemente Rodríguez and Serbian ‘Lola' Smiljanic. But despite big money offers for Kameni, Tamudo, Riera and Luis Garcia, Espanyol have managed to keep the core of the side intact.

Better on the road

web_06.jpgDespite their magnificent position in the table, it has been away from home that Valverde’s side has proven most effective, scoring 13 goals, while only managing 6 at home.

The points are more evenly distributed, with 13 at home and 12 away. Their top scorer this season is Raúl Tamudo with 6 goals, while Luis García has 4 and Albert Riera 3. Cameroonian keeper Carlos Kameni has let in 14 goals, but only 3 of those were at Montjuic 3.
Espanyol, with the same squad as last season
The last derby at Montjuïc?
This may well be the last time Barça meet Espanyol at the Olympic Stadium because if construction of the new Cornellà-El Prat stadium goes to plan and is completed in 2008, next year’s clash may not take place at the Luis Companys. It all depends on the fixtures for the 2008/09 season.

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