La Liga preview: Espanyol vs Barcelona – Will the Catalan giants come unstuck in the Barcelona derby?

Barcelona

The Barcelona derby sees Espanyol host Barcelona on 9 December. There isn’t much of a gap between the two bitter rivals with Ernesto Valverde’s side just seven points ahead of the Blue half of Barcelona.

Valverde has seen his team shoot up to the top of the La Liga standings and recently defeated Villarreal 2-0.

It has been a bit of a turnaround for the Catalans after going three games without a win and shockingly losing to Real Betis at the Nou Camp 4-3.

Although there isn’t much of a gap between the rivals, Espanyol have had their struggles recently. The sixth-placed side have lost their last three league games and will surely come under immense pressure when they face their more illustrious rivals at home.

History

If you are an Espanyol fan, it is best to look away. The last time the Blue half won a Catalan derby in the league was during the 2008-09 season and it came in the Nou Camp.

Going a couple of years further back, Espanyol defeated Barcelona 3-1 at home during the 2006-07 season.

David Lopez of Espanyol

However, the Blanquiazules had a Copa del Rey win over Barca at home but the Blaugrana won the second leg 2-0 to dump their rivals out, last season.

There is a lot riding in the game but both sides will be in Copa del Rey action in midweek. Barcelona face Cultural Leonesa with a one-goal advantage from the first leg, while Espanyol face a tougher task against Cadiz and they trail 2-1.

The Copa del Rey could play a huge role in which team comes into the game with more confidence, and it will be interesting to see what kind of line-ups both teams produce in midweek.

Barcelona have the easier tie and should come out on top while Espanyol need to turn things around against the second division side.

Prediction

Going against Barcelona is always difficult in La Liga, especially when they are up against some of the lesser skilled teams. However, latest Espanyol vs Barcelona La Liga odds suggests the home team does have some advantage over the Camp Nou side.

The Blaugrana have struggled to keep out defences from scoring this season and have conceded 19 goals from just 14 games.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona

Espanyol haven’t been prolific in front of goal with just 17 from 14 ties, but they should have some hope of getting one over their rivals and could deploy the blueprint by Betis to come up with an unlikely win.

However, Barcelona should start as favourites due to the quality they possess and should comfortably defeat their Catalan rivals 2-0.

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Written by Bonbon Kayzee

UEFA Cup 2001 and a love affair started that will never die down.

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