La Liga's bottom side Espanyol has appointed Abelardo as its third head coach of the campaign on a contract until the end of the season.

The former Sporting Gijon and Deportivo Alaves boss replaces Pablo Machin, who was dismissed after Sunday's 2-0 defeat at fellow struggler Leganes.

Machin lasted just 15 games in charge of Espanyol after taking over from David Gallego in October, although he did lead the side into the last 32 of the Europa League, where it will face Premier League side Wolves.

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Espanyol, which has taken 10 points from 18 La Liga games this season, confirmed Abelardo's appointment on Friday, with Tomas Hervas and Inaki Tejada arriving as part of his backroom staff.

Abelardo had been out of working since leaving Alaves in May and will take charge of his first training session with Espanyol on Monday.

Their first match after the mid-season break will be the derby with Barcelona on January 4.