Espanyol vs Barcelona predictions, H2H and match preview for this Saturday’s game in La Liga. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as the Barcelona derby takes place at the RCDE Stadium.
Espanyol vs Barcelona Preview
Following Girona’s relegation, this is again the only Catalan derby in La Liga and right now it looks very much as though we might not even have this fixture next season. Espanyol are in deep trouble and they head into this game following another managerial change after Abelardo took over from the sacked Pablo Machin over the Christmas period.
On the surface, it’s a pretty good appointment from the Espanyol board. Abelardo did a terrific job at Alaves and helped them fight back from a position of real danger to stay up in his first season in Vitoria. However this feels like a much bigger job with Espanyol rock bottom and with only 10 points on the board to date.
This is some baptism of fire for the new boss with Espanyol having endured a miserable time against their illustrious city rivals over the past decade or so. Barcelona will certainly not be in the mood to show any mercy towards their struggling neighbours and despite an unconvincing first half to the season, they are still on top of the pile and well placed to defend their crown again under Ernesto Valverde.
The Catalan giants will be without goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and midfielder Arthur here but they are basically at full strength other than that with Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Leo Messi set to form the front three again.
Quite how Espanyol will line up is more of a mystery given the change in coach but it seems likely that Abelardo will opt for a more defensive approach than his predecessor who paid the price for failing to improve on a dreadful home record which now stands at just 2 points from 9 league matches at the RCDE Stadium this term.
Espanyol vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: 3-1 Barcelona
It will take more than a coaching switch to rescue Espanyol this season. They look weak at both ends and while Abelardo has shown he can get teams organised and more importantly get results, it’s hard to see them going through such a radical transformation quickly enough to allow them to compete with Barça in this match. The outcome of this Barcelona derby is likely to be a familiar one.
Espanyol vs Barcelona Betting Tips (18+)
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Espanyol vs Barcelona H2H
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Barcelona Wins, 1 Draw, 1 Espanyol Win.
- Espanyol failed to win a single league Derbi Barceloní in the 2010’s.
- Their last league derby win was at Camp Nou in 2008-09.
- They’ve never beaten Barcelona in La Liga at the RCDE Stadium but did beat them in the Copa del Rey in January 2018 although Ernesto Valverde’s side still won the tie.
Predicted Line Ups
Lopez – Vila, Calero, Espinosa, Lopez – Vargas, Roca, Sanchez, Lopez, Darder – Calleri (4-5-1)
Neto – Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Roberto – Rakitic, de Jong, Busquets – Griezmann, Suarez, Messi (4-3-3)