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2014 Copa Catalunya: FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol: Match Preview

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A preview of the 2014 Copa Catalunya final, as FC Barcelona square off against RCD Espanyol for the second year in succession

Philipp Schmidli

FC Barcelona will be looking to end the season on a high tonight, as they prepare to contest the final of the 2014 Copa Catalunya against city rivals, RCD Espanyol. The two teams clashed at the same stage last season, with Barcelona emerging as victors after a tense penalty shootout. Unsurprisingly as the two top teams in the region, Barça and Espanyol have reached the final once again although there is a suggestion that this year's final will be a somewhat subdued affair by comparison.

For starters, Barcelona have opted to release the first team squad for their holidays, or in the majority of cases, to join their respective national sides ahead of international friendlies and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Then, when you factor in that Eusebio will be coaching and that the Blaugrana ended their Copa Catalunya drought last season, it's just not got the same appeal. Don't get me wrong, this will be a fantastic opportunity for some of our brightest talents to test themselves against La Lisa opposition, but let's not get our hopes up.

Barcelona have made a few changes to the squad that faced Girona last week: Jordi Masip replaces Miguel Bañuz, Alejandro Grimaldo takes Isaac Cuenca's place in the team while Sergi Gomez displaces Elohor Godswill. So for all intents and purposes, this isn't FC Barcelona. It's FC Barcelona B vs RCD Espanyol. Wait, not even that's right -- it's FC Barcelona B vs RCD Espanyol B.

Like their fierce rivals, Espanyol have too taken this year's competition as an opportunity to assess the future, handing a chance to the B team players. Unlike Barca B, mini-Espanyol feature in the Segunda Division B -- Group 3 to be exact. While they are in no danger of dropping into the fourth tier and obscurity in the Tercera, the Espanyol B team aren't exactly setting the world alight, finishing this campaign in 8th place, one place and ten points behind Elche's B team. The likes of Paul Quaye and Carlos Clerc could yet establish themselves as first team members at Catalunya's second club, but let's be honest -- this is a match Barca B should be winning.

Be sure to check in later for our Live Game Thread, giving you a place to discuss the match and follow our commentary before a recap of the match goes online later tonight.