Barcelona travel to city rivals Espanyol tomorrow evening in another important chapter in Xavi Hernandez’s reign. The blaugrana beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 at Camp Nou last weekend to leapfrog them into fourth place. They’ll be keen to consolidate their place in the top four and apply pressure on Real Betis.
Barcelona are currently two points clear of Atletico and two behind Betis, helped by the latter’s 2-0 home defeat to Villarreal last weekend. The Andalusians take on Levante tomorrow afternoon, so Barcelona could go third if Betis lose and they win.
But it won’t be easy. The form table points to Barcelona as the clear favourites heading into this one, but everything goes out the window in a derby. Espanyol are currently 13th in the league table having lost three of their last five, but Barcelona only beat them 1-0 when the two sides met at Camp Nou in the reverse fixture. That game was Xavi’s first in charge at the club.
Barcelona are missing a fair few players. Dani Alves is suspended while Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde are all injured. Memphis Depay, Clement Lenglet and Eric Garcia are all doubts. One man who will be available, however, is Adama Traore. That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, who report that he’s overcome his issues from yesterday and is fit to play.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 12, 2022