Espanyol – Barcelona
The leader in La Liga Barcelona will try to stay at top when Los Cules face Espanyol in the first Catalan derby for 2020 on Saturday. This game is going to be played at the RCDE Stadium. These are our La Liga predictions for it.
At this moment Barcelona are alone at the top of La Liga, having two points more than the second Real Madrid. In oder to be sure that they are going to at least keep this gap, Ernesto Valverde’s boys are obligated to win the Catalan derby on Saturday.
Things are not that good for Espanyol, though. Los Perricos are at the bottom of the league with just 10 points won and they already sacked two managers. Pablo Machin was fired after the defeat against Leganes in the previous round. Espanyol’s third manager for this season is going to be Barcelona’s ex-defender Abelardo. He’s going to debut against his former club, so it’d be interesting to see how Abelardo’s appointment could influence Espanyol before the Catalan derby.
Meanwhile Ernesto Valverde is facing problems, because his starting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has injured his knee. Until the German is ready to come back, he’s going to be replaced by the summer signing Neto. Arthur Melo, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati are also out with injuries.
In the same time Abelardo can’t use some players for the derby, too. The Argentine winger Pablo Piatti, Sebastien Corchia, Melendo and Matias Vargas are injured as well.
In our La Liga predictions we are going to say the obvious. Espanyol have won two games from the start of the season, so they are clearly underdogs against Barcelona. But it’s a derby and Los Perricos are with a now coach – this could get dangerous for Barca. Be careful, because we don’t know what to expect from Abelardo in his first game as a manager of the hosts.