FC Barcelona vs Espanyol : Predicted lineups
World Champions Barcelona start the new year with a rather short trip to Cornella El-Prat to face city rivals Espanyol in the season’s very first Catalan derby on matchday 18. Having just wrapped up the 2015 Club World Cup title followed by a 4-0 victory over Real Betis, the Blaugrana enter the game at the pinnacle of their spirits, ready for the FC Barcelona vs Espanyol battle.
Following their last match, Barcelona ace Lionel Messi fired a shot across the bows as the Argentine superstar warned their rivals that they are even desperate for more glory. “It has been a spectacular year and we wanted to finish it this way. We have a great squad that are desperate to continue winning”, claimed the prolific 28-year old in the post-match conference.
Although continuing with a success of that magnitude is extremely hard, the Catalan giants have all the required tools in their favour to achieve the impossible. And to add even more strength to their name, summer signings Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan will be handily available from now on to participate in the FC Barcelona vs Espanyol match, having been out for the last 6 months on account of the unfortunate transfer ban.
Hosts Espanyol will have Papa Diop returning in the fold after a one-game suspension against Sevilla in the middle of the week, whilst veteran midfielder Salvo Sevilla is now pushing for another start. Besides, coach Constantin Galca has no real injury concerns to deal with and Los Periquitos have their team all full strength, in this FC Barcelona vs Espanyol clash.
Barcelona too, aren’t plagued with any srious injury concerns and make the tour with all key players available. The likes of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta may be back to the starting line-up after being out of the game against Betis on Wednesday.
Espanyol may feel relatively better at home, but stand no real chance against the might of the Blaugranas.