30 March 2019
The Catalan derby between Barcelona and Espanyol that will take place at Camp Nou this weekend will see the hosts looking to extend an 11-game home winning run against local rivals in competitive meetings.
Sitting 10 points above second-placed Atletico Madrid, the reigning holders seem to be comfortably cruising towards back-to-back La Liga titles. The Blaugrana have racked up a five-game LL winning streak in the build-up to this encounter, with three of those triumphs saw them beating their rivals by a 2-goal margin. Moreover, Ernesto Valverde’s players have secured six wins in their last seven LL home outings (W6, D1), preventing their opponents from scoring four times in the process. Barca have scored more goals than any other team in the Spanish top flight this campaign (79), managing an average of 2.61 goals scored per match. The only problem Valverde could be afraid of ahead of this fixture is that his men have struggled to preserve a clean slate in nine of 14 LL home clashes, allowing 16 goals so far.
On the other hand, Espanyol’s impressive start of the season is yesterday’s news as the visitors still trying to find the way out of a serious crisis. Having pulled off just two wins in their last ten LL outings (W2, D4, L4), the Periquitos currently reside 13th in the table, a midway point between the relegation zone and the Europa League promotion slots. Although they come into this clash after going unbeaten in three successive LL away games (D3), Rubi’s players have failed to wrap up all three points in nine consecutive LL road races (D4, L5), allowing over 1.5 goals per match five times across those games. Along with Eibar’s, Espanyol’s away record of one win, six draws, and seven defeats is La Liga’s worst.
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