5 January 2020
Barcelona will return to action after the winter break to take on cross-town rivals Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium this weekend.
The hosts come into this massive fixture on a run of eight consecutive La Liga (LL) matches without a win (D2, L6), with seven of those games seeing them concede two or more goals. Nailed to the bottom of the table, the Periquitos remain the only side in Spain’s top tier that has yet to pick up a single home win this season (D2, L7). Additionally, they have opened the scoring only twice in nine LL home outings so far, subsequently losing both of those matches. Another reason for concern is that Abelardo’s men have shipped over 1.5 match goals in seven LL home games already, with 58% of their total league goals conceded coming at this venue. Things could get worse for Espanyol now, as they take on a side they’ve lost to in seven of their last 12 top-flight H2Hs held here (D5, L7).
Meanwhile, a 4-1 demolition of Alaves on the eve of the Christmas break has helped Barcelona to halt a two-game winless LL run (D2) and establish a two-point cushion at the summit. However, the visitors have endured a torrid away campaign, with just 35% of their total league points arriving on the road. Also, Ernesto Valverde has another massive reason to be wary, as his players have shipped the opening goal in five of nine LL away games so far, returning just five points from such matches (W1, D2, L2). Barcelona’s recent upturn in results can provide comfort to the traveling fans, as the Catalans have picked up seven triumphs in their past nine road trips in all competitions (W7, D1, L1), scoring 2+ match goals in all but two of those fixtures.
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