Barca have three wins and two losses in their last five matches. They defeated Chapecoense 5-0 in their preseason tuneup before losing 1-3 at home and 2-0 away to Real Madrid in the Super Cup. They have began La Liga, though, with a pair of 2-0 wins. The first at home to Real Betis, and the second was away to Deportivo Alaves.
There’s not much love lost between Barcelona and Espanyol and even though it’s usually quite a one-sided derby, there’ll be a good atmosphere at Camp Nou this weekend particularly with Ousmane Dembélé set to make his debut having become Barcelona’s record signing in the final days of the transfer window. All the ingredients are there for Barcelona to lay down a bit of a marker and they should do that with a comfortable win.
With Luis Suarez available again following injury, Barca should be able to name what is set to become their new preferred front three and there are few absences in the rest of the team either. They’ve made a solid start in La Liga, winning both their opening games to take an early lead on Real Madrid. However they’ve not really hit top form yet and they’ll be keen to put in a performance that shows they are still a side of the highest quality.
Espanyol haven’t made a great start to the season with just 1 point from their opening 2 games. They suffered a shock home defeat to Leganes last time out and haven’t invested heavily over the summer. They also have many mental scars from heavy defeats on this ground in recent years and even when they’ve put a decent team together, as they have done under Quique Sánchez Flores, they are still invariably been outclassed whenever they travel across town to Camp Nou.
Espanyol have three draws and two losses in their last five outings. They ended preseason with draws away to Twente (0-0) and Hamburg (1-1) and a loss away to Napoli 2-0. They started La Liga with a 1-1 away draw with Sevilla and then a 0-1 loss last time out at Leganes.
Barcelona vs Espanyol News
Barcelona: Ernesto Valverde will be missing center midfielders Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic for this derby match. Meanwhile, contract talks for Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta and rumors are swirling constantly, undermining the team and its performances. Luis Suarez played during the international break, but he's surely going to be tired and out of fitness after that and the long travel back.
Espanyol: Quique Sanchez Flores is unable to call upon goalkeeper Diego Lopez, center back Oscar Duarte, center midfielder Victor Sanchez, and forward Alvaro Vasquez due to injuries. Newly signed loanee Sergio Sanchez, a defender, will be available to play. Right back Javi Lopez left the match with Leganes early and looks a doubt as well.