Prediction for Barcelona - Espanyol
The last day of the calendar year 2022 will offer us one of the classic city derbies in Spain and in the world.
This is the battle for the city of Barcelona between the local team of the same name and FC Espanyol.
A match that at first glance appears to have a foregone winner.
But no matter where you look at it, Barca is a heavy favorite in this local derby.
Xavi's command is unlikely to miss the opportunity to send off the old year and welcome the new one as a leader in the standings.
Because only complete success here will guarantee them the leadership in La Liga. With Real Madrid only 2 points behind them.
Barcelona is a flawless host , going 6-1-0 in 7 games at Camp Nou so far.
During this period, they have not conceded a single goal in their goal.
They will probably find themselves with a dry net today. Given the not so strong game that shows Espanyol in front positions.
But on the other hand, the absence of Robert Lewandowski will undoubtedly reduce Barca's firepower.
And no wonder we witness a victory even just 1-0 or at most 2-0.
Moreover, 7 of the previous 10 head-to-head meetings between these two rivals were UNDER 2.5 goals .
Barcelona - statistics and info
Barcelona welcomed the break in La Liga for the World Cup as the leader of the standings .
The Blaugranas have amassed a total of 37 points from 14 games (12-1-1) so far.
Heading into this local derby with Espanyol, they will be hoping to extend that lead at the top of the table.
And to continue their way to the Primera title, which has eluded them for three years in a row.
Xavi's formation achieved a perfect 5 wins in the previous 5 games played in La Liga.
As for this period, the team's defense has allowed only one single goal (in the 2-1 success over Osasuna away).
There is cause for concern at Barca headquarters. And it is that the team will be without its talisman in front of the goal Robert Lewandowski.
The Pole is currently facing a 3-match ban due to an incident that occurred in the last game against Osasuna.
Then an argument between the Barcelona striker and the referee led to the referee reporting the player for disrespectful behaviour.
Of course, the club management appealed the punishment, but to no avail.
Thus, Lewandowski remains unavailable for selection for at least 3 matches.
Some news from Spain suggests that youngster Ansu Fati could be the one to replace Lewa at the top of the attack.
Espanyol - statistics and info
Their opponents Espanyol, also from the city of Barcelona, are currently in 16th position in the league .
Having a total of 12 points from 14 games (2-6-6) so far.
They have managed to score 16 goals in the Primera at this point. But they ended up conceding 22 goals in their own net.
This gives them a negative goal difference of -6 hits.
The form Diego Martinez's side showed before La Liga was suspended was nothing to brag about.
As the Blue and Whites have won just once in the last 10 rounds of the championship (1-5-4).
These poor performances continued in the friendlies during the World Cup.
In them, Espanyol recorded a 1-1 draw against Belgium's Mechelen and a 0-1 loss against Italy's Torino.
With a loss , Espanyol could even find themselves in the relegation zone if Sevilla and Celta win their matches.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineups: Stegen; Balde, Kunde, E. Garcia, Alonso; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Rafinha, F. Torres, Dembele
Injuries : none
Lineups: Leconte; Gil, Cabrera, Calero, Olivan; Melamed, Souza; Braithwaite, Darder, Puido; Joselu
Results of direct matches
|LL||13/02/22||Espanyol 2:2 Barcelona|
|LL||20/11/21||Barcelona 1:0 Espanyol|
|LL||08/07/20||Barcelona 1:0 Espanyol|
|LL||04/01/20||Espanyol 2:2 Barcelona|
|LL||30/03/19||Barcelona 2:0 Espanyol|
|LL||08/12/18||Espanyol 0:4 Barcelona|
Ranking and Form in the league