Barcelona and Espanyol will renew their rivalry this Sunday when both sides meet at RCDE Stadium.
Espanyol come into this fixture in desperate need of maximum points that will push them further away from the relegation zone. They sit three points ahead of the relegation zone and should be highly motivated to win here.
The ignominy of rivals Barcelona being ahead by 51 points, the biggest gap in a Derbi Barceloní in the 21st century, should also trigger Luis García Fernández’s side.
But beating Barcelona hasn’t been something the White and Blues have been used to, as they are winless across 25 top-flight derbies (D7, L18), which is their worst such record against any opponent.
Meanwhile, Barcelona could seal the La Liga title win at Cornella de Llobregat if they win here and Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid drop points in their respective fixtures.
Yet, even though the Madrid clubs don’t drop points, Xavi’s men will be happy to take all three points and make it three wins in three league games after back-to-back wins over Real Betis (4-0) and Osasuna (1-0).
The 1-0 win over Osasuna on Tuesday was Barca’s eleventh victory by that scoreline this season, equalling the record for a full top-flight campaign. Those results also played their part in Barcelona collecting a 25th La Liga clean sheet this season, the joint-most for any team in the top-five European leagues this century.
The fact that they can push their derby neighbours closer to the drop could be extra motivation to produce another defensive masterclass, although Barça have kept just one clean sheet across their last four league trips to this venue.
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