FC Barcelona put the finishing touches on their preparations for Sunday’s derby against RCD Espanyol with a training session on Saturday morning. Luis Enrique led the workout under heavy rain at Ciutat Esportiva as the players sought to get in peak condition ahead of a crucial game.
The Frenchman suffered an injury to the meniscus in his right knee while international duty towards the end of March and was operated on in the same month. Thirty seven days after surgery, Mathieu is back at the disposal of Luis Enrique for the season run-in, and has already trained with the group a couple of times this week.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is unconcerned by Espanyol's aggressive approach ahead of Sunday's La Liga encounter and is confident the referee will ensure things do not get out of hand. The sides met three times within the space of two weeks in January as Barca had to settle for a scoreless draw in La Liga, before knocking Espanyol out of the Copa del Rey.
Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez doesn’t care who wins La Liga - as long as it isn’t Barcelona. ‘I want a Madrid team to win…’ Los Periquitos go to Barcelona on Sunday in the competition’s penultimate round, with Barca level on points with Atletico Madrid and one ahead of Real Madrid, putting the destination of the trophy in the balance and potentially in Lopez’s hands.