La Liga: FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol Match Preview
Barcelona return to La Liga action after the international break on Saturday and will be hoping to continue new coach Ernesto Valverde’s winning start to the campaign.
They have had successive 2-0 wins over Betis and Alaves in their first two league matches and are back in action with a Catalan derby this weekend following the international break.
Next up are local rivals Espanyol who are yet to taste victory, after an opening-day defeat by Leganes and a 1-1 draw at Sevilla.
Match Details :-
Date :- Saturday, September 9 // Sunday, September 10 ( in India, China, Japan Australia and Indonesia )
Time: 18:45 ( GMT ) // 19:45 ( CET ) // 14:45 ( ET ) // 00:15 ( IST )
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Live Stream: Sky Go app (UK) // beIN Sports Connect (U.S.) // fuboTV (U.S.) // Mobdro App // SONY LIV App // Jio TV App
TV Info: Sky Sports Football (UK) // beIN Sports (U.S.) // beIN SPORTS CONNECT Arabia, beIN Sports Arabia ( Arab Countries ) // beIN LaLiga, beIN Sports Connect España, Movistar+ ( Barcelona ) // Sony Ten 2 ( INDIA ) // QQ Sports Live, PPTV Sport China ( China ) // beIN Sports ( Indonesia ) // Foxtel Now, beIN Sports Connect Australia, beIN Sports ( Australia ) // WOWOW, SportsNavi Live ( Japan )
Match Preview :-
Barcelona face what is potentially their toughest test yet in the Primera Division as they meet local rivals Espanyol at home in La Liga on Saturday.
The talking point of this match is Dembele’s debut. The game could see a Barcelona debut for summer signing Ousmane Dembele who joined the club in August for an initial fee of €105 million plus add-ons, the club confirmed.
Barcelona are going through tough times and no one can deny that.
The club president has had a vote of no confidence put to him, with opponents trying to force an election. In a bid to fight for his job, Bartomeu has claimed in the last few days that both Lionel Messi and Iniesta are poised to commit their futures to Barcelona. However, both Iniesta and Messi are reportedly reluctant to commit their future to their boyhood club Barça and President Bartomeu is the sole character to be blamed in this regard.
With an eye on next week’s UEFA Champions League clash with Juventus, Valverde may make some changes in his squad to keep his boys fresh for the Champions League tie.
Lionel Messi has been in imperious form for Barcelona, with two goals already, and with Dembele out to make an impact, the visitors may have to wait for their first win of the season.
Espanyol, meanwhile, would love nothing more than to pick up their first win of the season at the home of their rivals after a dismal start to the campaign.
Espanyol are yet to taste victory, after an opening-day defeat by Leganes and a 1-1 draw at Sevilla.
One of the other teams still with a 100% record in La Liga is Leganes and that’s partly thanks to a narrow win over Espanyol before the international break.
In a surprise result, Martin Mantovani’s first-half goal was enough to see off Espanyol who failed to respond. In the opening week Espanyol took a very good point from Sevilla with Clement Lenglet netting their crucial goal.
Espanyol had a busy end to the transfer window and could look to give summer arrivals Sergio Sanchez, Sergi Darder and Didac Vila some minutes
Team News :-
Luis Suarez starred in Uruguay’s World Cup Qualifiers and is expected to lead Barça’s attack today.
Rakitic is all set to miss the “Catalan Derby” after incurring a thigh issue while rendering his services to Croatia.
Barcelona’s only other absentee is Rafinha who is still recovering after undergoing knee surgery.
Espanyol will be without Oscar Duarte and Javi Lopez, who are both injured, while Alvaro Vazquez and Diego Lopez could miss the clash too.
Likely Line-ups :-
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Roberto; Messi, Suarez, Dembele.
Espanyol: Lopez, Sanchez, Naldo, Lopez, Martin; Jurado, Diop, Fuego, Piatti; Baptistao, Moreno