Espanyol – Barcelona

The leader in Spanish La Liga Barcelona open their 2020 with a Catalan derby against Espanyol on Saturday. Los Cules will have to face their domestic rival at the hostile RCDE Stadium in the Catalan capital. Let’s take a look.

Because of Real Madrid’s wrong step against Athletic Bilbao at the end of the last year, Barca are now leaders in the standings with two points advantage in front of Los Blancos. They would like to at least keep this gap, so they will aim only for the win against struggling Espanyol on Saturday evening.

Barca are huge favourites against Espanyol, because they are facing the worst team in La Liga at the moment. Los Perricos are 20th in the standings with just 10 points won so far, already sacking two of their managers. The game at Saturday is going to be a debut for Espanyol’s new manager Abelardo. It’s a curious fact that Abelardo was playing for Barcelona in the past.

In their last five games in La Liga Espanyol won just two points. This led to the decision to sack the manager Pablo Machin, pretty soon after he was appointed at the job. In their last match Los Perricos visited Leganes, but got beaten with 0-2. This was basically the end for Pablo Machin at the job.

Meanwhile Barcelona said goodbye to last year with a 4-1 win over Deportivo Alaves at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Arturo Vidal scored for the Catalans.

Barcelona will be without their starting number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen on Saturday. The German international is injured, so he’s going to be replaced by his backup Neto. Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele are also unavaliable for selection by the manager Ernesto Valverde.

That’s what we had to say about the upcoming Catalan derby between Espanyol and Barcelona in La Liga. Can Espanyol’s new manager Abelardo revive the team for this game? We will see.