Espanyol vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups ahead of the big Catalan derby.
|Sunday 14th May 2023
Espanyol vs Barcelona Preview
The Catalan derby between Espanyol and Barcelona takes centre stage on Sunday night. Assuming the Madrid clubs don’t both slip up earlier in the weekend, the visitors have the significant extra motivation of knowing that a win here would also clinch the title.
Things couldn’t really have panned out much worse for Espanyol who desperately need points in their battle for survival. They’d have liked to have played Barcelona under slightly different circumstances for their opponents but will know full well that their visitors will be very eager to win the title at the RCDE Stadium while also hammering another nail into Espanyol’s coffin in terms of top flight survival.
There look to be six teams battling to avoid joining Elche in next season’s Segunda Division. However of those six, Espanyol are in by far the worst position. They are on 31 points, 3 shy of safety heading into the weekend and that could be more by the time of kick-off. They also have some really tough fixtures left so may need a surprise win in a game like this to stand a chance.
They did win their most recent home game – a 1-0 triumph over fellow strugglers Getafe. However they couldn’t hold onto a 2-1 advantage at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan last time out, losing the game 3-2 late on and with their defensive problems considerable, they’ll do well to hold out here against what could be a full strength Barcelona side.
While their recovery from the mess they were in around the time of Xavi’s appointment has been impressive, Barcelona will be aware that they haven’t exactly produced much in the way of exciting football in the second half of this season. It has been more substance over style which doesn’t always go down well with fans of the Catalan club but this game produces an opportunity to serve up some of the defining images of their campaign.
Winning the league on enemy territory would be sweet and they’d love to do that with a big performance rather than another scrappy 1-0 win, of which there have been many. Barcelona should be well rested after a decent break since their last game and with their injury problems having cleared up, Xavi will certainly be looking for that from this team.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Pacheco – Cabrera, Gomez, Montes – Pedrosa, Suarez, Darder, Melamed, Gil – Braithwaite, Joselu (3-5-2)
Coach: Luis Garcia
Possible XI: Ter Stegen – Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde – De Jong, Busquets, Pedri – Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha (4-3-3)
Score Prediction: Espanyol 0-2 Barcelona
It’s hard to look past the visitors with the title on the line, not to mention the chance to push Espanyol into even deeper trouble. The visitors have been outstanding defensively this season and will fancy their chances of another clean sheet with their best back four available and at the other end, it’s tough to see Espanyol being able to put up a great deal of resistance, at least not for 90 minutes.
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