La Liga: RCD Espanyol vs FC Barcelona: Match Preview

Alex Caparros

A preview of Saturday's La Liga clash between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol

Barcelona will be looking to maintain the pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid on Saturday, as they travel across Catalunya to face city rivals RCD Espanyol knowing that a win would temporarily take them top of La Liga. After Real Madrid slipped up against Sevilla, the Blaugrana are arguably back in pole position in the race for the title -- regardless of league position, it's tough to argue against a line-up that can boast the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Atletico Madrid - for all their quality - cannot boast that kind of talent and that's why many predict Los Colchoneros will eventually drop out of the reckoning with Barça taking the foothold. Irrespective of Diego Costa, Arda Turan and the rest of their squad, there are few individuals that are capable of handling the challenge and stepping up against the Blaugrana.

After all, Atleti will likely reliqiuish top spot at some stage and will almost certainly need to enter the Camp Nou on the final day of the season knowing that a result will allow them to take control of La Liga: a tall order, and one that Atleti seem ill-prepared to deal with.

TEAM NEWS

BARCELONA

Xavi returns to the reckoning after missing the midweek win over Celta Vigo, Victor Valdes has probably played his final match in a Barça jersey and will be replaced by Jose Manuel Pinto while the remainder of the squad is kept waiting in anticipation ahead of their UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg with league leaders, Atletico Madrid.

ESPANYOL

Returning to winning ways with a 2-1 midweek win over Malaga, Javier Aguirre's side are an inconsistent bunch, but with pride on the line, we can expect a committed display from our rivals.

FORM GUIDE

Barcelona: WLWWWW

Espanyol: LDWLDW

LAST MEETING

FC Barcelona 1-0 RCD Espanyol - 1st November 2013 - La Liga

Alexis Sanchez grabbed a second half winner to extend Barcelona's impressive (and virtually flawless) start to the La Liga campaign

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Neymar

RCD Espanyol (4-2-3-1): Casilla; Lopez, Moreno, Colotto, Fuentes; Lopez, Sanchez; Pizzi, Garcia, Simao; Stuani

MATCH PREDICTION

An easy away victory 4-1 Barça.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Barca Blaugranes

You must be a member of Barca Blaugranes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barca Blaugranes. You should read them.

Join Barca Blaugranes

You must be a member of Barca Blaugranes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barca Blaugranes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker