Having the opportunity to break a record of unbeaten record, Barcelona face Espanyol this Sunday, February 4. The Catalan Derby will be held at the RCDE stadium and is part of the schedule of the twenty-second round of the Spanish Championship in its 2017/2018 season. The beginning is scheduled for 13:15 (Brasília time).
The recent performance of Espanyol
Without goals to be achieved in the Spanish Championship, the motivation of a classic and the possibility of preventing the opponent from breaking a historical record should be more than enough to increase the disposition of the athletes of Espanyol, since only their technical quality is clearly insufficient to level a match against Barcelona.
This can be clearly seen in the rating table. While the rival is leading fired and undefeated, Espanyol bitter the fourteenth place. He has 24 points (six wins, six draws and nine losses). They are nine fewer than Sevilla, sixth and last place in the classification block for European tournaments. In addition, seven other teams are among them. This virtually makes it impossible for the club to dream of bigger ambitions.
Although the difference is not so great, the advantage over La Coruña, which opens the relegation zone, is relatively comfortable. Espanyol have seven points.
Coach Quique Setien does not have any problem of injury or suspension involving his main players. Thus, it can put in the field to face the Barça the players that considers more suitable.
The current form of Barcelona
In the twenty-first round, Barcelona defeated Alavés 2-1 at Camp Nou by setting a series of 21 games without losing (18 wins and three draws) in the Spanish Championship. It equaled the greatest unbeaten sequence in the club’s history in the tournament, which had been established in the 2009/2010 season by the team led by Pepe Guardiola.
Thus, a draw against Espanyol is enough for Ernesto Valverde Tejedor to surpass the mark of one who is recognized as one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
Espanyol were responsible for Barcelona’s most recent defeat. It defeated the giant of Catalonia by 1 to 0, also in the RCDE, on January 21. The game was worth the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey of Spain. However, in the return match, the Barça made use of the field command and his highest technical quality scoring 2 to 0 in the rival.
He advanced to the semifinals and therefore had to play a game on Thursday, February 1, against Valencia. It was the opening of the fight for a place in the semifinals. Current champion of the King’s Cup, Barcelona took another step towards the bicampeonato. He won by 1-0 and now only needs a draw to reach the decision.
Although he is at the top of the Spanish league with 57 points, nine more than Atletico Madrid’s runners-up, and is close to resuming the European Champions League, Barcelona should put the best squad on the pitch in search to reach the record.
The only likely casualties are from athletes who are still handed over to the medical department for injury recovery. They are the third goalkeeper Adrian Ortola (who has not yet appeared in the 2017/2018 Spanish Championship season); defender Thomas Vermaelen (eight games, no goal); Oriol Busquets (without performances), Andre Gomes (11 matches, no goal), Jose Manuel Diaz (one match, no goal) and Sergi Samper (no performances); and striker Ousmane Dembele (four games, scoreless).
History of the bouts between Espanyol and Barcelona
The Catalan classic has had three editions in the current season. In the first round of the Spanish league, Barça, at home, thrashed 5-0. The other two were in the quarterfinals of the King’s Cup Spain. Espanyol, in their dominion, took the best scoring 1 to 0. However, it ended up being eliminated to take 2 to 0 in the match of return.
Owner of a style that seeks victory with the least possible effort, Barcelona de Valverde shows great pragmatism and should be considered the best betting option for the match this Sunday. He has a prize of 1.30 in Bet365. Draw yields 5.50 and success of home owners multiplies the investment by 10.00.