February 2009; that was the last time that RCD Espanyol escaped the Camp Nou with points, as Pep Guardiola's team slumped to a 2-1 defeat with Seydou Keita's first-half red card a major factor in the final result. A lot has changed since then. You don't need me to tell you that, but for example just four of that starting XI remain at the club, and just one of the seven substitutes are still here. For Espanyol, their hero on the night Ivan de la Pena has retired and even formed part of Luis Enrique's coaching team at AS Roma; that's how long ago 2009 was.
And since then, Barcelona have dominated their city rivals at the Camp Nou, although often without really displaying their dominance on the scoreboard. But with a frontline of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, that could be all about to change. FC Barcelona possess the firepower; RCD Espanyol are struggling in the bottom-half of the table and their away form has been suspect to say the very least.
On paper, this is a mis-match, but it is still a derby match. Anything can and could happen this afternoon so Barça will have to be at the top of their game to ensure that doesn't happen. Even with a difficult UEFA Champions League group stage match against Paris Saint-Germain on their minds, Barcelona must focus on the task at hand and secure the bragging rights once again. Oh, and keep pace with Real Madrid of course...
Predict the score of tonight's La Liga clash between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!
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