Having overcome fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s side is faced with an opponent based far closer to home
Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Puyol; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro
Elsewhere, big changes to the squad should not be anticipated, though if there are one or two weary legs from a hectic and demanding schedule, Guardiola will make alterations.
Kameni; Galan, Amat, Rodriguez, Chica; Vedu, Marquez; L. Garcia, Alonso, Callejon; Osvaldo
Joan Verdu had appeared poised for a ban, but his yellow card last weekend has been annulled, allowing him to feature.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona will know that Espanyol will not roll over in this fixture. Of its last six home matches in league play against the city-rivals, it's won only twice.
- However, Pep Guardiola’s men have won three of their last five matches against their fellow Catalans, including a 5-1 success away from home earlier this term.
- Incredibly, la Blaugrana have struck the opening blow in 30 of their league matches this season and have only been shut out once.
- When Carles Puyol has been present, the Camp Nou outfit has yet to lose this term.
- In the last seven league matches at the great venue, Lionel Messi has struck five goals.
- Espanyol’s form in the second half of the campaign has been very weak indeed, picking up only 14 points.
- Away from home, the Cornella-El Prat outfit has not tasted success in six outings, during which it has been held scoreless on five occasions.
- Espanyol's tally of 42 league goals this term is dwarfed by Barcelona’s 89.
- Barcelona derbies have been pretty feisty affairs in recent times, with three red cards in the last five.