Barcelona host Espanyol in the first Derbi barceloni of the 2016/17 football season. This will be 164th clash between the two city rivals, but the glamorous FC Barcelona are way ahead in head-to-head with 94 wins as against Espanyol’s 34 wins, with 36 matches ending in draws.
The Catalan giants, Barcelona are coming on the back of a comfortable 3-0 win away at Osasuna in their latest La Liga match. But they did fail to win in their last 2 league games at home. Luis Enrique’s have dropped more points at home this season than on the road, gathering a mediocre 12 points out of possible 21. Moreover, the win away at Osasuna is their first win after drawing 3 consecutive matches in the league. They are currently second in the league table, but the slump in point have opened up a 6 point gap with arch rivals and league leaders Real Madrid.
Espanyol extended their unbeaten run to 9 league games last weekend with a narrow 2-1 win at home against Sporting Gijon. The Quique Sanchez Flores managed side are tidy at the back and are one of the best defensive unit in the league at the moment after keeping 4 clean sheets in their last 5 matches. They are currently 9th in the league table and are a much improved side at this point of the season than in previous seasons.
Barcelona vs Espanyol: Head-to-head stats
Both sides met 4 record times last season, with Barcelona winning 3 times in those games. The clashes between the two rivals are always a fierce one, but FC Barcelona are the better side in recent seasons as they are unbeaten in 30 of the last 33 derbies.
Also, Barcelona enjoys a 14-game unbeaten run against the rivalling Espanyol. In addition to this, Espanyol have conceded an average of 5 goals in their last 2 league visit to the camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Espanyol: Prediction
Espanyol are coming into this match on a better form than in past few seasons and therefore we expect a much competitive battle on Saturday night. However, this is only going to cut short the margin of the defeat as Camp Nou is not a happy hunting ground for Espanyol. To summarize, this will be a narrow win for Barcelona by a single goal margin.