09 July 2020
La Liga title contenders, Barcelona, entertain basement boys Espanyol at the Camp Nou, looking to extend a 23-game unbeaten run in top-flight H2Hs (W16, D7).
Backed by a 4-1 demolition of Villarreal on the road, Barcelona will try to maintain an astonishing 29-game unbeaten run at home in La Liga (W26, D3), last season included. Arguably the division’s most intimidating home side, the Catalans have won 15 of 17 league games on home turf this season (D2), with eight of those successes yielding a full-time margin of three or more goals. Indeed, free-scoring Barcelona have netted a league-high average of 2.94 goals scored per La Liga home fixture this campaign, scoring over 1.5 goals in 13 of 17 top-flight matches held here. Notably, Barca’s impressive performances before the break make them the only team in Spain’s top-tier yet to lose a first-half at home (HT: W11, D6).
Meanwhile, rock-bottom Espanyol travel to the Camp Nou on a run of five La Liga defeats, four of which came via a single-goal margin and saw the ‘Periquitos’ draw a blank after the break. With four league fixtures left to go, another failure here would see Espanyol go to the Segunda Division. But unfortunately for Francisco Rufete, his men take on a side they’ve lost to in each of their last ten top-flight away H2Hs. Notably, eight of those ten defeats have seen Espanyol fail to find the back of the net, which has been true in eight of their 17 La Liga trips this term (47.06%). Indeed, a genuine lack of firepower up front sees Espanyol lament the division’s second joint-worst offensive record on the road (12 goals scored).
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