Barça and Espanyol, hot derby before the grapes
The Barça team defends its leadership in the league restart after the World Cup
MADRID, Dec. 30 (.) –
FC Barcelona receives Espanyol this Saturday, December 31, at the Spotify Camp Nou, a derby full of incentives on matchday 15 of LaLiga Santander, for marking the return of both teams after the World Cup break and for the leadership defended by the Culé box against a neighbor wanting to change the color to the clash.
On the last day of the year, at 2:00 p.m., but also the first day of the assault on the title for Barça, the domestic competition returns a month and a half later. Xavi Hernández’s team leads the way with 37 points to the 35 of a Real Madrid team that played the day before in Valladolid. A leading position that they achieved against Almería, thanks to the white defeat in Vallecas.
Before the break, Barça left a triumph of gold and character in Pamplona, coming back from 1-0 in the second half and without Lewandowski. The case of the Pole has heated up even more before the match, since the striker, who was sent off in El Sadar and sanctioned with three games for the famous gesture of him touching his nose, received the precautionary measure of the Central Contentious Court of Madrid.
Xavi trusts that his team will continue to be that of Pamplona, seasoned, with confidence and quality, in search of the goal of winning titles again. The European debacle, condemned again to the second UEFA competition, is already far away, but the road ahead is also long. In case the desire was lacking or the head was clueless, the derby is the definitive incentive to continue the streak.
In the Catalan derby, the league trend has been Barça since 2009: 24 games in a row without losing Barça against their neighbor Espanyol. The parakeet team advanced in the Copa del Rey 10 days ago and has played two friendlies during the World Cup in Qatar, but the League, as they always say, is the one that feeds and they are not left over.
Diego Martínez’s men have won one game out of the last 10 in the league and are just one point above the relegation zone before the start of the day. The Catalan coach, who knew what it’s like to get his hands on Barça with Granada, is confident that the work of this month and a half will bear fruit, with an idea yet to be realized.
Espanyol achieved a good defensive level during the first part of the season but has been missing the goal. Braithwaite, who is returning to the Camp Nou, and Joselu will have the task of giving the punch his team needs. The motivation is also overflowing in Corenllà’s men, despite the fact that they will not have Piqué in front of them.
The central defender, who ended his career against Almería, was one of the hot spots in these games. The fight in this preview comes from the precautionary measure against Lewandowski, the top scorer in the League with 13 goals, which Espanyol described as “unusual”. In addition, the parakeet team announced that Barça informed them of the prohibition to enter the Camp Nou with clothes that identify with the blue and white club.
FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Balde, Christensen, Eric Garcia, Sergi Roberto; Busquets, Gavi, Pedri; Dembélé, Ferrán Torres and Lewandowski.
SPANISH: Lecomte; Oscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Oliván; Foundling, Souza, Darder; Puado, Braithwaite and Joselu.
–REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (Valencian Community Committee).
–STADIUM: Spotify Camp Nou.
–TIME: 2:00 p.m./Movistar LaLiga.