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Fc Barcelona vs Espanyol : Probable Lineups,Prediction, Tactics And Key Stats | la liga

GEARING UP FOR THE DERBY


Everything you need to know about the Catalans' lineup for the Barcelona derby at Camp Nou on Sunday evening.

 
The time has almost arrived. With their Friendly clash away to Alhi out of the way, Barcelona will now focus their energies exclusively on the visit of Espanyol in La Liga this weekend.

Barcelona take on crossroad rivals Espanyol at the camp nou Sunday night in need of three vital points to arrest the sloppy form that has seen them lose ground in the title race.
GEARING UP FOR THE DERBY:

The Blaugranes have won one of their last four league games and will be desperate to  start transforming fortunes against a formidable Espanyol side who have been picking up more points on the road than they have been at their own ground - in fact only Barca and Real Madrid have better away record in the LA liga this season.

Meanwhile, the Catalan club can I'll afford another slip up as they need to makeup ground in the title race as leaders Real Madrid are otherwise engaged with Fifa club world cup commitment. Barca trail current leaders Real Madrid by six points going on into the Clash as they aim to finish the year on a positive note.
The task at hand for Barcelona is a tough one given that Espanyol gave the sixth strongest overall defensive record of the campaign. The  corresponding fixture  last time out ended with Barcelona drubbing their city rival 5-0.
GEARING UP FOR THE DERBY
But if recent statistical evidence is anything to go by, this derby could be tighter.. .
Both sides come into the game off the back of morale boosting win last weekend against Ca Osasuna and sporting Gijon respectively.


However, following the game in Qatar on Tuesday, Luis  Enrique gave his squad a two day break. They got back to work on Friday with all the available first team players training on the Tito Vilanova pitch at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper  ahead of the Barcelona derby on Sunday night.
 

Here is who I think with start the game at Camp nou.



  • STEGEN to continue in goal

  • Midfield of Sergio Busquet, Andres Iniesta and Andre Gomes  set to continue. 
  • The likes of Arda Turan, Denis Suraez, Rakitic, as backup options.
  • Leo Messi, Neymar and Suraez to form attacking lineup again.

  • Defense of Pique, Umtiti looks  like a strong combination.
  • Whilst the full backs lining up on the night will be Alba Sergi Roberto. Digne, Vidal and Macherano are backup options to choose from if he decides to change things around at the back .
 BARCA XI VS ESPANYOL




Below you will find a selection of quotes from the press conference Luis Enrique gave today ahead of Sunday's crucial game:

“The derby is a very important game for all Barça fans, it is a different game.” “Both teams are on a positive run. Espanyol are a solid team and they are hard to score against, we will have to be wary of their counterattacks. It will be an intense game and we also hope it will be a good one.” “We haven't looked at previous encounters from other seasons as they have different players and a new coach. We have looked at their last few games from the current campaign.” “To see how far Espanyol have come we will need to wait until after this game. They are solid at the back and they defend as a team. They sit back and don't leave many spaces or give you many chances. Also, they break with speed
thanks to the quick and skillful players they have up front.”

 “ Suárez's contract extension ? Every time someone commits to the club it is important and it strengthens the club and the players.” “I am in favour of doing everything we can to help the referee. Football is evolving towards that and we need to look into which areas we can give the referees extra help. I am in favour of everything which will help them do their job. We don't always have to blame the referees.” “In all cities there are important derby games. It is a fantastic match to play in due to the intensity in the build up and the reaction but also due to what happens out there on the pitch. They are great to play in and even better to win.” “I hope that we focus on the football and it is important to know how to control your emotions and be sporting throughout.” “It is very important to win this game as it is the only way we can put pressure on the league leader.”

 BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

Barcelona have not won any of their last two league games at Camp Nou (D2) and they have not gone three in a row since December 2003. Espanyol are unbeaten in their last six league games away from home (W3 D3) – their best run since December 2007 (7).

The Periquitos have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four games away from home in La Liga – they’ve never gone five in a row in the competition.
Those four games away from home without conceding is the best current run in La Liga. Espanyol have not defeated Barcelona in La Liga since 2009 (D3 L11) and they have failed to score in 11 of those 14 games.

The Culés have won the last seven league games at Camp Nou against Espanyol in a row with an average of 3.1 goals scored and keeping six clean sheets in the process.

Barcelona have hit the woodwork the most times in La Liga this season (10).

Lionel Messi has scored 14 goals against Espanyol in La Liga, more than any other player in the Catalonian derbies. Diego López has kept only one clean sheet in his 12 league games against Barça and he has conceded 27 goals, the joint-most he has conceded against any other side alongside Real
Madrid.

Luis Suárez is the player with the most winning goals scored in La Liga this season (five).
Barcelona strikers have scored 73% of their team’s goals, the highest rate in La Liga this
term.

Quique Sánchez Flores has won two of his last four games against Barcelona in La Liga (L2) but
has never won at Camp Nou (D2 L2).

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