The Catalan neighbours are set to lock horns at the RCDE Stadium with Barca chasing down another La Liga title.
A 3-2 victory in a Clasico clash with Real Madrid has helped to keep them in contention, with two old foes locked together on 78 points – albeit with the Blancos holding a game in hand.
Messi put in another talismanic display to seal a crucial victory for Barca at Santiago Bernabeu, with his stoppage-time winner followed by a celebration which saw a man who had just reached 500 club goals present the name on his shirt to the locals in the Spanish capital.
Espanyol will be hoping to avoid seeing a repeat in their latest outing, but have been quick to point out that whatever happens they will continue to place greater emphasis on the collective over individuals.
“Remember what is important”, says the message on their social media post.
In a clear dig at Messi and Barca the shirt is held up with the club crest facing forwards, rather than the name on the back.
Espanyol did hold their arch-rivals to a goalless draw in their last league meeting at Estadi Cornella-El Prat, but they were thumped 4-1 at Camp Nou earlier in the season.