Espanyol – FC Barcelona (La Liga)
Espanyol and FC Barcelona will measure forces this Saturday at RCDE Stadium (Barcelona), in a game referent to La Liga’s 35th round. After a 0-1 home loss against Atletico Madrid and a 1-1 away draw against Sporting Gijón in the La Liga’s last 2 rounds, Villarreal arrive here a little bit shaken. FC Barcelona, on their turn, are extremely motivated after two consecutive wins, keeping alive their chances of becoming spanish champions, once again.
Espanyol hold the 9th place in the La Liga table with 50 points, which comes from 13 victories, 11 draws and 10 defeats, with 45 goals scored and 44 conceded. Lately, the team has been presenting mixed results, since in their last 5 official matches, in this competition, they have lost 2, drew 1 and and win the other 2. This sequence of results started with a 2-0 away loss against Athletic Bilbao, that was followed by a 1-0 home win against Alavés, a 0-1 away win against Leganés, and as mentioned before a 0-1 home loss against Atletico Madrid and a 1-1 away draw against Sporting Gijón.
At home in the La Liga so far, the team has played 17 matches: won 8, drew 5 and lost 4. It’s at home that this group led by Quique Flores is stronger and has better performances, winning 4 of their last 5 home matches, Although they have only scored 28 goals and conceded 20 in the process.
Defensively this isn’t one of the best organized teams of the spanish championship, but they have been able to score in almost every game. Their favourite type of offensive transition are the counter-attacks, where Gerard Moreno and Pablo Piatti do their magic.
Óscar Duarte is out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Diego López – Javi López, Reyes, David López and Martín – Jurado, Fuego, Sánchez and Piatti – Moreno and Caicedo.
FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are both leading the Spanish league, although Los Blancos are still with one game behind schedule. So, at the moment FC Barcelona are 1st place in the La Liga table with 78 points, which comes from 24 victories, 6 draws and 4 defeats, with 101 goals scored and 33 conceded. They are the team with more goals scored in the league.
At the moment, the team has many motives to smile, since with their enormous finalization power they beat Real Madrid (2-3) and their dream of becoming La Liga’s champions become mathematically possible. In their last 5 official matches, in this competition, they have lost 1 and win the other 4. This sequence of results started with a 3-0 home win against Sevilla, that was followed by a 2-0 away loss against Málaga, a 3-2 home win against Real Sociedad, and as mentioned before a 2-3 away win against Real Madrid and an amazing 7-1 home win against Osasuna.
Away from home, in the La Liga so far, the team has played 17 matches: won 11, drew 3 and lost 3. In these 17 away matches they have 45 goals scored and 31 conceded. At home in the La Liga so far they have only lost once in the beginning of the season to Alavés (1-2). With very influential and decisive players such as Messi, Suárez, Iniesta and Rakitic, Luis Enrique’s men are forced to adopt a more offensive strategy in order to score and win these 3 precious points.
Both Aleix Vidal and Rafinha are out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Stegen – Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti e Alba – Rakitic, Busquets e Iniesta – Messi, Suárez e Neymar.
At this moment, all points are precious and Barcelona need them all in order to win this league. Espanyol will be focused on protecting their goal.