Espanyol vs Barcelona prediction, playing XI, team news and more | La Liga 2019-20
Barcelona get their new year underway with Derbi barceloní against local rivals Espanyol on Saturday evening as the Catalans look to consolidate their lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga table.
Ernesto Valverde's men signed off the previous year in a splendid fashion, humbling 15th placed Alaves to a 4-1 defeat at the Camp Nou. With that emphatic victory, Blaugrana went undefeated at home in La Liga for the entire year.
Their hosts this weekend RCD Espanyol on the other hand, have endured a completely contrasting fortune heading into this fixture.
Espanyol sit rock bottom of the league with a just ten points from their opening 18 games and are without a win the Spanish top-flight since October.
Barca seem obvious favourites for a win in this vital away fixture, but nothing is guaranteed in such local derbies where the players engage into fierce competition and play for their pride.
Though, the home side would require nothing less than a miracle if they are to emerge from this matchup against the dominant visitors with even a single point.
Espanyol vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
The Barcelona based clubs have gone against each other on 36 occasions in league fixtures so far with the reigning champions dominating proceedings. Barça have won 25 of those games as compared to Espanyol's tally of three, while the remaining eight games ended in a draw.
Barcelona have had the upper hand in the recent times and with Lionel Messi and co. hitting top form at the turn of the year, it seems that the visitors will add another win to their tally.
Though Barca have emerged as winner in four of their last five fixtures, it should be noted that the visitors failed to win at the Estadio Cornellá-El Prat on February 2018.
Espanyol form guide: L-D-L-L-D
Barcelona form guide: W-D-D-W-W
Espanyol vs Barcelona Team News
Espanyol are set to be heading into the game without veteran midfielder Esteban Granero through suspension, while Sebastien Corchia, Victor Sanchez and Matias Vargas will remain on the sidelines because of knee injuries and a sprained ankle respectively.
Pol Lozano might take place of Granero in the midfield, though Abelardo Fernandez is not expected to tweak much of his starting XI from the previous outing.
Injuries: Sebastien Corchia, Victor Sanchez, Matias Vargas
Suspensions: Esteban Granero
Barcelona are also without some big names heading into the fixture. Ousmane Dembele and Arthur remain on the sidelines through thigh and groin injuries respectively, while Ansu Fati is also a doubt, with a hip problem.
Marc-André ter Stegen will miss out on the opening fixture of the year, as he continues to recover from a knee problem.
Injuries: Marc-André ter Stegen, Ousmane Dembele, Arthur
Doubtful: Ansu Fati
Espanyol vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Espanyol predicted XI:
Diego Lopez, David Lopez, Calero, Espinosa, Roca, Gomez, Darder, Lozano, Vila, Campuzano, Calleri
Barcelona predicted XI:
Neto, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, de Jong, Messi, Griezmann, Suarez
Espanyol v Barcelona Prediction
When teams from the opposite end of the table clash, rarely do the result turns out in favour of the team on the wrong end of the table and when Espanyol host Barca later this week, everything points towards an easy three-point haul for the visitors.
With all of the front three getting on the scoresheet for Barca in their previous fixture, we might be in for a very one-sided fixture and can expect goals galore for the visitors.
Verdict: Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona
Modified 03 Jan 2020, 17:38 IST