La Liga returns after the international break with league leaders Barcelona facing off against Espanyol in a local derby. The Blaugrana currently have a ten point lead at the top of the table and will be looking to register a sixth consecutive win in the league. As ever, you will be able to watch all the action from the Nou Camp Live & Exclusive via beIN CONNECT.
Barca could see their lead stretch to thirteen points on Saturday, with second place Atletico Madrid playing against Alaves later in the day. So far this season, Barca have the upper hand in the Derbi easing past Espanyol with a 4-0 win. Leo Messi grabbed a brace and an assist in the comfortable victory. Ernesto Valverde’s side will be looking to regain the momentum they gathered prior to the international break. Although the omens look good for the La Liga leaders who have not tasted defeat in their last seven home La Liga games.
In team news, Luis Suarez may feature after picking up an ankle injury against Real Betis last time out. The Uruguayan has been training individually with the side over the international break and did return to training with the squad on Wednesday. As for Leo Messi, he was rested for Argentina’s friendly match against Morocco with a hip knock but should be in contention. Messi has four goals in his last two La Liga games and will be looking to add to the 29 league goals he has scored so far this season.
Barcelona Predicted Team
Ter Stagen, Alba, Pique, Umtiti, Roberto, Rakatic, Arthur, Busquets, Vidal, Suarez, Messi
Channel -HD 3
Online - beIN CONNECT
Kick- Off Time - 18:15pm
As for Espanyol, they are languishing in thirteenth place in the table and have only managed one victory in their last five La Liga outings. Prior to the international break, Sevilla defeated Espanyol 1-0 thanks to a second-half Wissam Ben Yedder goal. Although the game was marred by two late red cards for Sergi Darder and Sevilla’s Juan Soriano.
Keep an eye out for Chinese attacker Wu Li. The January signing is widely considered to be the brightest talent to come out of the Chinese Super League in some years and has adapted quickly to the challenges of La Liga, already bagging his first goal with the side in the 3-1 win over Valladolid. Expect the 27-year old to start on the left wing and cause Barca some problems.
In team news, the pair of Dídac Vilà & Sergi Darder will be suspended for the game. Whilst Facundo Ferreyra is a doubt with a hamstring injury. This could mean that Borja Iglesias comes into the side. The Spanish attacker has eleven goals in the league so far, and his goals could help Espanyol defeat their storied rivals for the first time in five attempts.
Espanyol Predicted Team
Lopez, Rosales, Naldo, Hermoso, Javi Lopez, Wu Lei, Granero, Roca, Melendo, Perez, Iglesias
It promises to be a fascinating encounter as Barcelona look to extend their winning streak in the league against local rivals Espanyol. You can watch all of the action Live & Exclusive via beIN CONNECT.