Barçelona are playing Espanyol today at Camp Nou in Derbi Barceloní.
The Derby which is mainly seen as ‘one sided’ among neutrals but Espanyol defeated Barça last season in Copa del rey quarters first leg where Barça eventually won the tie by winning the tie (2-1 on aggregate).
Espanyol in recent times are known to be pragmatic and relatively dirty especially at Derby under Quique Sanches Flores. Although this season, Espanyol have played football Barça would approve.
Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia
aka ‘Rubi’ changed their style completely and they have played attractive football and Rubi even gave chances to one of the most talented Spanish youth midfielder Marc Roca which Sanches Flores didn’t.
They started the season brilliantly and for one time were fighting for top 4 places at the starting of the season too. They were unbeaten in the first 5 games at RCDE stadium but they tasted their first defeat against another Catalán side Girona and they were thrashed by Barça in their next home game by 0-4 and thay have been struggling ever since. They are 13th on the table with 34 points.
Barçelona on the other hand sit comfortably on top with 66 points, 10 points ahead of 2nd placed rivals Atletico Madrid. Also Espanyol have defeated Barça at RCDE last season in Copa del rey, last time Espanyol defeated Barça at Camp Nou was in 2009.
Espanyol’s Borja Iglesias is their top scorer with 11 goals in the league having replaced Gerard Moreno successfully who left for Villarreal last summer. While the G.O.A.T Messi is the top scorer as well as the top assister in the league with 29 goals and 12 assists for Barcelona.
Luís Suárez returns after getting cleared for this game after he got injured against Real Betis before International break. Ousmane Dembélé is still injured but schedule to return against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 10th April. Messi is in the squad but he is still not 100% and if I was Valverde, I wouldn’t be starting him in this game.
This is the predicted line up by Sport.
This is my predicted score for the game – Barça 3 – Espanyol 1.