Barcelona will face a huge test today in La Liga when they play Espanyol in the Catalan derby. Though Barcelona has regularly beaten Espanyol, this match does pose some interesting aspects that we can look into. It’s time Espanyol took their chance and acted it out. As luck would have it, Barcelona will be missing center midfielders Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic for the match. Yet, Lionel Messi has much to do on the field for his side.
Barcelona did not play their strongest during the last five matches which ended with 3 wins and 2 losses. Both the loss was against Real Madrid in the Super Cup. But they recovered eventually and had 2 wins in the La Liga so far. In contrast, Espanyol has registered 2 losses and 3 draws in their last five games. In La Liga, they had a draw with Sevilla at 1-1 and a loss 0-1 away home.
As expected, Barcelona is predicted to win the match with strong players like Busquests and Deulofeu. But their stats where both the teams played each other is pretty much one sided. Barcelona has played against Espanyol 56 times where they have a massive 37 wins and 13 draws. But, this match may even prove to be different if Espanyol focused on their strength and played according to their forte.
Surprisingly, even with all the tension, the two coaches cast aside their rivalries aside to meet yesterday at Camp Nou. One interesting fact to note is that Valverde’s side has won more games against Sanchez’s side than any other side in La Liga.