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Primera División

  • May 8, 2011
  • • 18:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
  • • Attendance: 90000

La Liga Preview: Barcelona – Espanyol

La Liga Preview: Barcelona – Espanyol

Having overcome fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s side are faced with an opponent based far closer to home

Barcelona (4-3-3):
Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Puyol; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro

There are still plenty of question marks in the Barcelona squad after the midweek draw against Real Madrid. Eric Abidal made his return to action, but asking him to play a full 90 minutes may be stretching things too much, while Adriano continues to toil with injury. Maxwell tends to be the other option in that role, but he too is struggling.

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.
Espanyol (4-2-3-1):
Kameni; Galan, Amat, Rodriguez, Chica; Vedu, Marquez; L. Garcia, Alonso, Callejon; Osvaldo

Sergio Garcia and Baena both continue to miss out because of injury problems, with the former not expected to play again this season after recently undergoing a knee operation.

Joan Verdu had appeared poised for a ban, but his yellow card last weekend has been annulled, allowing him to feature.

  • Barcelona will know that Espanyol will not roll over in this fixture. Of their last six home matches in league play against their city-rivals, they’ve 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 have 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 have not tasted success in six outings, during which they’ve been held scoreless on five occasions.

  • Their 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.

Players to watch


Position: Midfielder

Games: 23

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Injury ruled Andres Iniesta out of the Barcelona side for a handful of matches recently, but the World Cup winner exploded back onto the scene in midweek with an incisive through ball that set up Pedro’s goal, essentially sealing the Catalans’ place in the Champions League final. Such vision and execution will be needed to break down opponents who can be stubborn.

P. Osvaldo

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Espanyol’s form may have been pretty wretched of late, but that of top scorer Pablo Osvaldo has been rather impressive. The striker has four goals in his last six matches, and his season-long performance has attracted scouts from several clubs to watch him play. With an audience to impress, this is a great chance for the 25-year-old to really step forward into the spotlight.

Editor's Prediction

Barcelona have to be favoured at Camp Nou to defeat their city rivals. Pep Guardiola’s side may not be quite as devastating as they have been for periods during this campaign, but they will have the power to march to a win in a match that is likely to prove competitive.

Think you know the score? Visit William Hill to bet on this match now.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol Espanyol

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 0
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
FC Barcelona FCB
4 - 0
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
FC Barcelona FCB
5 - 0
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP