It will be Derbi Barceloni time on Saturday evening as Barcelona host Espanyol at the Nou Camp in one of the hottest rivalries in Spain. It will be Xavi’s first game as coach of La Blaugrana, but Vicente Moreno’s men will be looking to spoil the long-awaited debut of Barca’s legendary former midfielder.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 20 November, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Espanyol: Premier Sports
Last time: Luis Suarez scored the only goal as Barcelona beat Espanyol 1-0 at the Nou Camp back in 2020. Both teams finished with 10 men as Ansu Fati and Pol Lozano were sent off in the second half.
Barcelona v Espanyol Predictions and Preview
Espanyol will be looking to spoil Barcelona’s party on Saturday evening, when Vicente Moreno’s side visit the Nou Camp for the Derbi Barceloni. The long-awaited appointment of Xavi has finally happened, so the hosts will be looking to get out of the hole they were in under Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona have won just two of their last six games in all competitions and although both of the 1-0 wins over Dynamo Kiev were crucial for keeping their chances of Champions League qualification alive, the results in La Liga have still been dreadful.
La Blaugrana have won just one of their last five league games and are winless in four, after Barca threw away a three-goal lead to eventually draw 3-3 away to Celta Vigo last time out. This proved out to be Sergi Barjuan’s last game as caretaker manager, so Xavi must start to pick up results quickly.
Sergio Aguero was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia after he requested to come off in the first half against Alaves, so the ex-Manchester City forward will be unavailable for the foreseeable future, while according to some reports he might even be forced to retire. This is a huge blow for Barca, as putting aside Memphis Depay, the Catalans have lacked a consistent source of goals and Xavi’s hands will be tied until at least January.
Both sides have 17 points before Saturday’s derby, but Barcelona have a game in hand and have a good chance of getting into the top six if they manage to get the win.
Despite Espanyol’s strong start, the goal for Moreno’s team is to reach safety after their return to La Liga in the summer. The big problem is that despite getting five wins already, the Blanquiazules are yet to win on the road, as they have managed three draws and as many defeats so far.
When it comes to visiting the Nou Camp, Espanyol are winless in 12 consecutive games, so it’s no surprise that the visitors are 8/1 outsiders to pick up their first win at this venue since 2009. However, Moreno’s side will be extremely motivated to frustrate the shaky hosts, and at 19/5, the draw is definitely a possibility.
Despite all this, it’s easy to see why Barcelona are 4/11 favourites to get the three points in the derby, as the hosts will be eager to start Xavi’s era in the best possible way.
One to watch for Barcelona: Memphis Depay’s six goals make him Barcelona’s top scorer in La Liga so far and the Dutchman will undoubtedly be a key figure under Xavi, especially considering the uncertainty around Sergio Aguero’s heart condition. Depay scored the opener in the 1-1 draw against Alaves and is 10/3 to do the same on Saturday.
One to watch for Espanyol: Raul de Tomas’ seven strikes mean that the 27-year-old has scored 50% of his team’s goals since the start of the season. The Spanish striker has broken the deadlock on five occasions and is 42/5 to do the same against Barcelona.
Long shot: While Barcelona have won only two of their last six games in all competitions, both of those games were won 1-0. A repeat of that result against Espanyol is priced at 13/2, while the odds rise to 63/2 if you pair this with Depay to score the opener. Espanyol had a player sent off in each of the last two meetings between those teams, so if you are looking for even bigger odds you can also bet on a red card for the visitors.