Barcelona Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Espanyol

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Everything you need to know ahead of the Derbi Barceloni as Ernesto Valverde's side look to continue their unbeaten Liga season...

Barcelona might still be in unbeaten in La Liga this season, but on Sunday they return to the setting of their only defeat of the campaign.

Local rivals Espanyol were able to secure a 1-0 victory over the Blaugrana in the first leg of their recent Copa del Rey quarter-final.

Ernesto Valverde's side were able to turn the tie on its ahead back at Camp Nou to secure a place in the last four, and now they will be looking to avoid a further slip-up at the RCDE Stadium.

The home side have not won any of their last 10 league matches on their own patch, and Barca will be hopeful of taking another step towards the Primera Division title.


BARCELONA INJURIES


Summer signing Ousmane Dembele is out for a couple of months after picking up another injury in the 4-2 win at Real Sociedad last month.

Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is also out, but there are no other injury concerns for coach Ernesto Valverde following Thursday's win over Valencia in the Copa del Rey.


BARCELONA SUSPENSIONS


The Barca boss has no players suspended for the clash.


BARCELONA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Philippe Coutinho was left on the bench for Thursday's win over Valencia but is likely to make his second Liga start since arriving from Liverpool.

Who he replaces is the big talking point, with Sergio Busquets the man who was benched against Alaves last week. He may return, with Ivan Rakitic instead missing out.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Paulinho and Nelson Semedo should also earn recalls while Jordi Alba will keep his place having been rested from the start on Sunday.

Barcelona XI GFX


ESPANYOL TEAM NEWS


Quique Sanchez Flores's side have struggled for consistency this season, and are not safe from relegation yet, sitting seven points above the drop zone in 14th.

The former Watford boss does have a relatively clean bill of health for the derby, however, with only Pablo Piatti a doubt.

Colombia international Carlos Sanchez could be handed a debut in midfield after completing a loan move from Fiorentina in the final week of the January window.

Carlos Sanchez, Fiorentina, Serie A, 24092017

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TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Barcelona versus Alaves kicks off at 16:15 local time on Sunday and will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports Football from 15:10 GMT.

In the United States, the game can be watched live on television on beIN Sports and kicks off at 10:15 ET.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Espanyol are winless in their last 17 La Liga games against Barcelona (D3 L14), failing to score in 13 of them. They have never gone 18 games without a win against them in the competition.

  • Barcelona are unbeaten in their 21 first games of La Liga this season (W18 D3) - Real Madrid (24 in 1996/97) were the last team to record a longer unbeaten start in the competition.

  • Barcelona have fired in the most shots on target in La Liga this season (159), while Espanyol have landed the second fewest (70), after Levante (66).

  • Luis Suarez has been directly involved in 11 goals in his seven games against Espanyol in La Liga (seven goals, four assists).

  • At home, the Parakeets have failed to win in their last 10 league games (D4 L6), failing to score in the last five.

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