Barcelona – Espanyol: Preview & Prediction
The end of the period for registration of new players should give a little more peace of mind for coach Ernesto Valverde to work. After the departure of striker Neymar, who left the club to defend Paris Saint-Germain and earned 220 million Euros to Barca, the team left aggressively to try to recover the loss.
It did not achieve its main objective. Liverpool have closed the door for the transfer of midfielder Philippe Coutinho. But he hired reinforcements such as midfielder Paulinho, the Brazilian national team player, and Dembelé, a promise of French football.
Paulinho made his debut in Iniesta’s 2-0 win over Alavés in the second round of the Spanish Championship, showing that it will be an option to replace the veteran athlete, who has been facing a series of injury problems since previous season
Dembelé will most likely be scheduled for this Saturday’s duel. It remains to know in the wave of who will enter. It is possible that he takes the place of the Uruguayan Luis Suárez, who had not been playing because of muscle injury. However, even injured, presented to the selection of Uruguay for the matches against Argentina and Paraguay for the qualifiers. Played without being in the best fitness. Thus, he will hardly be scheduled for the club this Saturday, as he may have even hampered his recovery process with a hasty return.
Suarez is not the only doubt of the club for the match. The midfielder Rafinha, who suffered a knee injury, depends on a new evaluation from the doctors to see if he will be available. Even if it receives the green light, it should only be related to the reservation bank. Out of combat follows the midfielder Sergi Samper (calf injury).
The medical department of Espanyol is much busier. They are under treatment the goalkeeper Adrian Lopez; defender Oscar Duarte; the socks Javi Lopez and Victor Sanchez; and striker Alvaro Vazquez.
This great number of problems can help to justify a faltering beginning of the team in the Spanish Championship. In the debut, even managed a good tie, 1 to 1, against Sevilla, at the rival’s home. However, in the day of number two, was defeated at home by Levante, by 1 to 0. In that game, managed to hit the target only two of the 15 attempts to finish.
The extra time for training gave coach Quique Flores enough time to try to improve the offensive power of the team.
History of the matches Barcelona vs Espanyol
The Catalan classic had three editions in the 2016/2017 season. The first in the friendly tournament Juan Gamper. It was defeated by Espanyol by 1 to 0. The other two, by the Spanish Championship, had success of Barça. Scored 4 to 1 at home and 3 to 0 away.
Barcelona vs Espanyol
Naturally, the stops for qualifying games affect Barcelona much more, which has a much larger number of athletes called up for their national teams than Espanyol. It is rare that stoppage does not cause physical problems. In addition, coach Ernesto Valverde has yet to worry about the important game of Tuesday, September 12, against Juventus for the opening round of the Champions League 2017/2018 edition.
Barcelona – Espanyol: Betting Tips
Barcelona -2.5 AH – Odds: 2.15
Over 3,5 goals – Odds: 1.85