Match Preview : Barça vs Espanyol: The Catalan Derby – SEGUNDAZO?

Three days after the 1-4 away win at the Ceramica stadium against Villarreal, the Blaugranas are set to face amongst their worst enemies: No, we aren’t talking about Real Madrid, but about RCD Espanyol. The rivalry has split the two clubs for over a century now: Is FC Barcelona or RCD Espanyol Barcelona’s club? At Barçabuzz, the answer is clear. Each year, the two enemies face each other to fight for the pride of Barcelona’s city. Pick your side, for our is chosen! Without fans, a strange atmosphere will be felt in an empty Camp Nou. If Barça are fighting for the first place and Espanyol are already relegated, anything can happen. In derbies, current form or the season doesn’t matter. What matters is the present, at the moment of the match. Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourself for 90 minutes of passionate football!

How are the teams doing?

Last 5 Barcelona matches: DWDDW

Sevilla-Barça: 0-0

Barça-Athletic Club: 1-0

Celta Vigo-Barça: 2-2

Barça-Atlético Madrid: 2-2

Villarreal-Barça: 1-4

League stats: 2nd|73 pts|+42

Tough times. While the League seems lost as we are trailing 4 points behind archrivals Real Madrid, we do want to finish these last 4 games in an enjoyable manner. If we failed to capitalize against Sevilla, Celta & Atléti, the last game brought positivity. Moreover, more than a stunning 4-1 win, Sétien seems to have found the key for Griezmann, Messi & Suarez. In a 4-3-1-2, we may witness a new formation, after years of the usual 4-3-3 formation. It’s also the eventual comeback to the midfield for Sergi Roberto, who admitted ‘Feeling more comfortable as left midfielder’. It’s time to confirm for the Catalans, and perhaps slowly give time to more youngsters like Collado & Monchu.

Last 5 Espanyol matches: LLLLL

Espanyol-Levante: 1-3

R.Betis-Espanyol: 1-0

Espanyol-R.Madrid: 0-1

R.Sociedad-Espanyol: 2-1

Espanyol-Leganés: 0-1

League stats: 20th|24 pts|-27

Nothing is going alright at Espanyol, and we,culés, love to see it. Hating Espanyol from all our hearts, relegating them is the unique good thing this season, should we go trophyless. For Espanyol, they have changed managers three times this season alone, the significance of the sinking ship. However, we shouldn’t take them lightly. They can show up and make it tough for anyone on their day. Let’s not forget Barça and Espanyol drew 2-2 in their stadium shortly before Valverde’s sacking. They gave recently a hard time to Real Madrid as well. But we shouldn’t fear them. Their usual defensive block is weaker than ever and their forward line suffers a lack of confidence. This may be the chance for Collado to finally get minutes, if Sétien allows it.

Barcelona expected XI:

Ter Stegen|

Semedo|Piqué|Lenglet|Alba

Busquets|Vidal|Roberto

Messi|

Suarez|Griezmann

Espanyol expected XI:

Lopez|

Vila|Cabrera|Bernardo|J.Lopez

Roca|D.Lopez|

Embarba|Darder|Melendo

De Thomas|

Last 5 encounters: DDWWD

Prediction: 4-0 W

No excuses, time to show them why they don’t belong to the elite league.

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