Preview - Espanyol vs Barcelona 09 December 18

Started by Harry85, Dec 09, 2018, 02:33 AM

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Match Day 15
Espanyol vs. Barcelona
Sunday, December 9th 2018
03:45am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: RCDE Stadium

Last five matches form: D W L L L
Average goals per match: 1.21
Average goals against per match: 1.14
Top Scorer: Borja Iglesias ( 8 )

Last five matches form: W W L D W
Average goals per match: 2.64
Average goals against per match: 1.36
Top Scorer: Luis Suárez & Lionel Messi (9)

It's derby time in Barcelona on Match Day 15 in La Liga as defending champions and current leaders, Barcelona, make the short trip to the RCDE Stadium to take on eighth placed Espanyol.

Espanyol held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in this game last season in addition to beating Barca 1-0 here in the Copa Del Rey. Barcelona ran out 5-0 winners in the reverse fixture in La Liga.

This looks a tough ask for Espanyol, but they do at least have a fully fit squad from which to select. Barcelona must do without Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Malcom and Samuel Umtiti.

Espanyol had been in decent form lately going unbeaten in six. They have gone through something of a slump in form of late though and head into this game seeking to avoid a fourth defeat on the spin. They are undoubtedly a tough nut to crack at home in La Liga overall though having won six of their past seven here at the RCDE, keeping a clean sheet in four of their past six.

Barcelona may be top of the table, but they have only fleetingly being playing the type of football which saw them run away with things last season. So far this season they have failed to win at Atlético Madrid, Leganes and Valencia.

Barcelona have still only lost two of their past 23 and on current form we fancy them to do enough to come home with the points.

Prediction: Espanyol 1 - 2 Barcelona


Half time: 0 - 3
Full time: 0 - 4
Shots:  15 - 11
Shots on target: 5 - 9
Corner Kicks: 11 - 4
Possession: 45% - 55%

Just the one booking at the RCDE Stadium, with referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande taking the name of Didac Vila of the home side.

The form book and league standings can sometimes go out of the window in these derby games, but that wasn't the case in Barcelona this weekend as the defending champions ran out easy winners in the end. Purely on the stats this was a much closer game than the final score line would suggest. It is however in the final third where Barcelona boast their biggest edge over most sides and so it proved here as they simply proved way more clinical than their hosts on the night.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in typical style in the 17th minute, curling a wonderful 25-yard free kick from a central area into the top right corner. Keeper no chance.

The second came after 26 minutes. Messi finding Ousmane Dembele in the left side of the area, and Dembele cutting back inside to fire an excellent effort into the top right corner from a pretty tight angle.

And by half time this one was all over with Barcelona striking for a third time in the 45th minute. Dembele playing in Luis Suárez in the right of the area and the Uruguayan somehow finishing through the legs of Diego Lopez despite being outside the posts and practically on the goal line. 0-3 at the break.

The scoring ended as it had begun, with the little magician Messi firing in another 25-yard set piece stunner, this time into the top left corner in the 65th minute. 0-4 final score.

Barcelona remain top of La Liga, and with Sevilla being held to a draw this weekend are now three points clear of the chasing pack. Espanyol drop two places to tenth.

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