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Feb 13, 2022 at 8pm UK at Estadi CornellĂ -El Prat
Espanyol
2 - 2
Barcelona
Darder (40'), de Tomas (64')
Bare (23'), Vilhena (60'), Puado (76'), Nico (90+2')
Nico (90+3'), Morlanes (90+6')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Pedri (2'), de Jong (90+6')
Pique (74'), Garcia (78'), Gonzalez (83')
Pique (90+2')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Espanyol vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Espanyol and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona will be bidding to make it three straight La Liga victories on Sunday evening when they head to RCDE Stadium to take on Catalan rivals Espanyol in the Barcelona derby.

The visitors are currently fourth in the table, just two points behind third-placed Real Betis with a game in hand, while Espanyol occupy 13th, three points behind 10th-placed Celta Vigo.


Match preview

Having secured a return to La Liga by winning last season's Segunda Division, consolidation back at this level was always going to be Espanyol's number one priority during the 2021-22 campaign, so it has been a relatively successful season to date despite their recent struggles.

Indeed, a record of seven wins, six draws and 10 defeats from 23 matches has seen the Catalan outfit collect 27 points, which has left them in 13th spot in the table, three points off the top 10 and crucially nine points clear of the relegation zone heading into the final months of the season.

Espanyol are without a victory in the league since the end of December, though, picking up just one point from their last four matches against Elche, Cadiz, Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao.

Vicente Moreno's side have won six, drawn two and lost three of their 11 league matches this season to collect 20 points, but they have lost their last two in front of their own fans to Elche and Real Betis.

Espanyol have also only won 34 of their previous 173 La Liga matches against Barcelona, suffering 101 defeats in the process, including a 1-0 loss in the reverse match at Camp Nou back in November.

Barcelona, meanwhile, recorded a 1-0 win over Alaves on January 23 before beating Atletico Madrid 4-2 last weekend, with Adama Traore making his second debut for the club, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang making his first outing since arriving from Arsenal ahead of the transfer deadline.

Xavi's side scored all four of their goals against Atletico in the opening 49 minutes, and the result moved them above the reigning champions into fourth spot in the table, now just two points behind third-placed Real Betis with a game in hand on the Seville-based outfit.

Barcelona are not in a title race this season, sitting 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid, but they are in a strong position to secure a top-four finish and will also be aiming for success in the Europa League.

A busy end to February will see the Catalan side face Napoli twice in the Europa League, in addition to league fixtures against Espanyol, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, and the performance against Atletico last time out certainly raised the confidence of the club's supporters.

Barcelona, who have not lost to Espanyol in La Liga since February 2009, have found it difficult to secure wins on their travels in the league this season, though, picking up maximum points on just three occasions, collecting only 15 points from 11 away fixtures.

Espanyol La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Espanyol form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Barcelona La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Espanyol will be without the services of Oscar Gil this weekend through suspension, while Fernando Calero is an injury doubt for the home team.

The White and Blues will be boosted by the return of leading goalscorer Raul de Tomas, though, with the centre-forward available once again following a suspension.

Tonny Vilhena was on the scoresheet in the defeat at Athletic last time out and should retain his spot in the final third of the field, while Javi Puado and Oscar Melendo are also expected to keep their positions.

As for Barcelona, Dani Alves will miss the match through suspension, while Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde are on the sidelines through injury.

Clement Lenglet, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia, meanwhile, are fitness doubts for the away team.

Sergino Dest is likely to replace Alves at right-back, but Aubameyang might have to wait for his full debut, as Gavi, Ferran Torres and Traore impressed as the front three against Atletico.

Aside from Alves, it could be the same side that took to the field for the first whistle against the reigning champions, with Frenkie de Jong featuring alongside Pedri and Sergio Busquets in midfield.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Diego Lopez; Vidal, Gomez, Cabrera, Pedrosa; Darder, Morlanes, Melendo; Puado, De Tomas, Vilhena

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba; F de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Traore, Torres, Gavi


We say: Espanyol 1-2 Barcelona

Matches between these two sides are always important affairs, and it is set to be another fascinating battle this weekend. Espanyol will fancy their chances of causing problems, particularly with De Tomas returning to the side, but we are expecting Barcelona to navigate their way to another three points in La Liga.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid30216361263569
2Barcelona29169457292857
3Atletico MadridAtletico30176757372057
4Sevilla301512340202057
5Real Betis30165954361853
6Real Sociedad3014973029151
7Villarreal30129948291945
8Athletic Bilbao30111183529644
9Valencia30101194243-141
10Osasuna30108123040-1038
11Celta Vigo3099123434036
12Espanyol3099123542-736
13Rayo Vallecano2996143136-533
14Getafe30711122833-532
15ElcheElche3088143142-1132
16Granada30611133348-1529
17CadizCadiz30513122541-1628
18Mallorca3068162650-2426
19Levante30410163358-2522
20AlavesAlaves3057182452-2822
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid30216361263569
2Barcelona29169457292857
3Atletico MadridAtletico30176757372057
4Sevilla301512340202057
5Real Betis30165954361853
6Real Sociedad3014973029151
7Villarreal30129948291945
8Athletic Bilbao30111183529644
9Valencia30101194243-141
10Osasuna30108123040-1038
11Celta Vigo3099123434036
12Espanyol3099123542-736
13Rayo Vallecano2996143136-533
14Getafe30711122833-532
15ElcheElche3088143142-1132
16Granada30611133348-1529
17CadizCadiz30513122541-1628
18Mallorca3068162650-2426
19Levante30410163358-2522
20AlavesAlaves3057182452-2822
Scroll for more - Tap for full version


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