With the race to clinch the La Liga tighter than ever, leaders Barcelona will be looking to extend their lead as they travel to the RCDE stadium. The match is scheduled for 4th January, with kickoff at 23:00 GMT.
The Catalans are currently at the top of the La Liga table with 39 points. However, it is not chill at the top as they face stiff competition from long term rivals Real Madrid, who are two points clear. Coach Valverde ended 2019 with a win after a series of draws, which almost cost the title run.
With the opening of the January transfer window, rumors are going around of a surprise squad additions especially in tightening the leaky defense. With several contenders already showing interest, it is only a matter of time.
Espanyol, on the other hand, is having its worst season so far in La Liga. Coach Pablo Machin has come under heavy criticism after failing to register a single win in their past six matches in the league.
Espanyol is currently hanging on the relegation side, closing the La Liga with only 10 points. The team has lacked consistency, and mistakes have cost the group many chances. With a match against the Catalans, will this seal the last nail on the coffin for Machin?
Espanyol vs. Barcelona Head to Head
Both teams have met 36 times together with Barcelona picking up the lions share with 25 wins against three wins for Espanyol. Here is a look at their previous matches:
Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol
Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona
Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona
Barcelona 4-1 Espanyol
Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
Espanyol 0-0 Barcelona
Espanyol Team News
Leading the list of suspension for the match is center back Naldo and partner Fernando Calero. The side will do without the services of Sebastien Corchia, who picked up a knee injury that expected return in April. Left-winger Martias Vargas will also be out after picking a sprain ankle injury. Central midfielder Victor Sanchez will also be out knee injury.
Barcelona Team News
Center forward, Luis Suarez picked his fourth yellow card and will be suspended during the math. However, this leaves space for coach Valverde to include uprising star Fati and Griezzman to lead to the attack. Goalkeeper Ter Stegen also picked up a knee injury before the end of the year and will miss out. This leaves the chance for new signing Neto, who has still graced the pitch.
Prediction and Odds
The Catalans will have a comfortable breeze against Espanyol, who are struggling to register a win. Given the heated battle, we expect a goal-fest for the Catalans.
Goals Over 2.5
Most Goals Second Half
Griezzman to Score