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Espanyol vs Barcelona in La Liga on Feb 13. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Espanyol vs Barcelona in La Liga on Feb 13. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

We have ourselves another instalment of the Derbi Barceloní on Sunday evening as Barcelona make the very short trip to face local rivals Espanyol.

Barca climbed into the top four of La Liga for the first time in what feels like an eternity after they beat Atletico Madrid 4-2, thanks in large part to a first-half blitz of goals after falling behind early on.

That made it back-to-back wins for Xavi’s side and they haven’t lost in the league since early December, so they should fancy their chances of clinching another three points against an Espanyol side who have a dreadful record against their Catalan rivals.

  • Kindly note that all information in this preview, including whether or not the event will take place, is subject to change due to Covid-19.
MarketPrediction
HandicapBarcelona -1
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Barcelona -1 Handicap

This isn’t a vintage Barcelona side by any means, but Xavi is slowly but surely starting to get a tune out of them, and their new signings mean we are starting to see a competitive team take shape.

It’s just one defeat in La Liga in their last 12 games and they’ve only lost three times on the road in the division since December of 2020.

The way in which they tore through Atletico Madrid should give them a bit of a bounce ahead of this local derby and on Sunday they come up against an Espanyol side that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in eleven games and are on a four-game winless run.

It’s also worth throwing into the mix Barcelona’s superiority over this fixture. Espanyol’s 1-0 win over Barca four years ago is their only victory over the Blaugrana in their last 34 attempts, and they’ve taken plenty of thrashings along the way.

The visitors should have way too much here, so our selection is Barcelona -1 on the handicap at odds of 9/4 with bet365.

Espanyol Form, squad news, opinion

It’s their first season back in the big time after bouncing back from relegation in the 2019/20 season, and although they’re unlikely to find themselves in any relegation danger, they haven’t pulled up any trees either.

They started the season poorly and have struggled for consistency since, picking up back-to-back victories on only one occasion.

But there have been some notable successes along the way. They followed up a brilliant home victory over Real Madrid with three points against Cadiz to stabilise their position in the table in October, before a morale-boosting win over Real Sociedad a few weeks later.

And their games are usually good for a goal or two. In fact, their last nine matches have seen both teams to score.

That said, goals don’t mean much if you can’t convert them into wins, and they haven’t picked up three points since a New Year’s Eve victory at Valencia.

Barcelona Form, squad news, opinion

We wouldn’t say it’s time for Barcelona fans to get excited, but for Xavi to have his side in the Champions League places is a quite brilliant turnaround from a few months back.

And their demolition of Atletico Madrid shows just how far they’ve come. Adama Traore, signed late in January from Wolverhampton Wanderers, had an instant impact when he provided an assist for Gavi to put the hosts ahead, while Ferran Torres also impressed.

There’s still more to come, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang itching for a first start after coming off the bench at the weekend, and with plenty of spending planned in the summer, Barca could well be La Liga title contenders again next season.

They love a game against Espanyol too. They’ve beaten their neighbours in four of their last five meetings and will surely take advantage of what is an extremely leaky home defence.

But they will have to make do without Dani Alves after his red card at the weekend, while injury absentees Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati remain sidelined.

History

As we’ve touched on already, Barcelona have an overwhelmingly superior record in the head-to-heads with Espanyol.

They’ve faced each other 59 times, with Barca picking up 39 victories, while the Periquitos have just five wins and 15 draws to show for their efforts.

About the Venue

Espanyol’s ground is one of the newest in the country, with the RCDE Stadium only opening in 2009.

It holds up to 40,000 people and they’ll need to be at their most vociferous if they are to help their side cause any problems on Sunday night.

Conclusion

This has all the ingredients for a regulation Barcelona victory.

Everything is stacked in their favour. They come into this in great form while Espanyol continue to struggle in mid-table obscurity, while their historic dominance also gives them an extra psychological edge.

If you don’t like the visitors on the handicaps, an away win outright is still decent value at around the 5/6 mark.

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