Espanyol vs. Barcelona Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

02 January 2020

Espanyol flag; Spin Sports BlogSource: jorono, Pixabay

Saturday 4 January

RCDE Stadium - La Liga

Espanyol vs. Barcelona Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

Things hot up right away after the winter break for Barcelona, as the La Liga leaders head across the city for a local derby with bottom club Espanyol. Ernesto Valverde’s side are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions, and have an excellent record against their local rivals.

Past Meetings

Espanyol haven’t beaten Barcelona in La Liga since February 2009, when they won 2-1 at the Nou Camp. The clubs have met 20 times in the league since then, with Barca winning on 16 occasions. That includes a 4-0 victory in last season’s corresponding fixture, and a 2-0 success in the first meeting of this campaign.

Team News

Estaban Granero’s Christmas holiday continues for another weekend, as he serves a suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season Espanyol’s defeat to Leganes last time out. Matias Vargas is out with an ankle injury, while Sebastien Corchia and Victor Sanchez are also expected to miss out.

For the visitors, Ansu Fati is available after a hip problem, while Sergi Roberto is a doubt. Ousmane Dembele is out, while Arthur is struggling with a groin issue. It remains to be seen whether Arturo Vidal comes into the Barcelona team, with the Chile midfielder in the midst of a legal dispute with his club over unpaid bonuses.

Espanyol vs. Barcelona Preview and Predictions

Barcelona have been dominant against their local rivals in recent seasons, finding the back of the net 31 times in their last 10 La Liga fixtures against Espanyol. Abelardo and his team may have home advantage in the derby this weekend, but that’s counted for precious little over the years as top meets bottom on Saturday evening.

Los Blanquiazules have also been struggling badly in La Liga so far this term, winning just two of their 18 fixtures so far. The last of those victories came towards the end of October, with Los Periquitos losing six of their eight matches since. The winter break couldn’t come soon enough for Espanyol, and we’ll find out what they’ve been able to do with it this weekend.

The hosts still start as the major underdogs though, priced at 7.00. Barcelona are the odds-on favourites at 1.42, and it’s little surprise given their standing both in this fixture and the league table. The champions have only lost one of their last 13 games in La Liga, only failing to score once in that sequence, in the goalless draw against Real Madrid in December’s Clasico.

With Real drawing their last three fixtures of 2019, Barca have a two-point lead at the top of the table. Considering the talent in their ranks, it would be a huge surprise if that lead is not intact or even bigger come the end of this weekend’s action. At 4.75, the draw would certainly count as a shock.

Recommended Bets

Barcelona to win and over 2.5 goals at 1.86

This bet would’ve paid out last season and on two of Barca’s last three visits to the RCDE Stadium, so it could be a good way to boost your odds on the away win.

Barcelona to win to nil at 2.50

Espanyol have only managed to score one goal in their last five games against Barca, so this could be another good way of enhancing your value on the champions.

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