Barcelona this Saturday opens a new 2016 year from the first place against their Catalan rivals, Espanyol, and The Blaugrana coach Luis Enrique wants from his players to up their game in new year.
January 2, 2016 • 15:00 • Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
Referee: José Luis González González
Espanyol – Barcelona Live Streams
Espanyol this Saturday will host a big Catalans derby game, looking to bounce back from the last round away defeat to Sevilla, but also to stop Barcelona dominance in their mutual matches. A 2-0 defeat to Sevilla was the first one under Espanyol’s new coach Constantin Galca. Romanian in his playing time as a player has played against Barcelona 11 times and has never managed to taste a win.
After serving card suspension Diop is returning back to the first team, but the bad news is that against Sevilla, two players have picked up injuries. Those are Victor Sanchez and Canas. Both of them are playing back in the middle in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the same that Diop plays.
I’m not afraid of Barcelona, we will do our best to make things harder for them. Our goal is to create chances, we have to run when the ball is ours and with a lot of aggression to move between their lines – announced Gaul.”
With only Rafinha out, Barca boss, Luis Enrique doesn’t have any injury problems. On Wednesday, Barcelona hosted Real Betis and won with 4:0. Suarez scored two goals, Neymar has twice assisted, and Messi scored one.
Luis Enrique Martinez, coach of FC Barcelona (about Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid fight for the title)
“I think all three of us have the same credit. The competition will remain like this practically until the end of the season. No doubt about it. We can already see the very high level displayed by Atletico de Madrid. They are at the same level that Barca and Real Madrid. And it will remain this way.”
Luis Enrique Martinez, coach of FC Barcelona (about facing Espanyol)
“This is the first game of a series of three that we will play against Espanyol. This one is very different from the following two because they involve two different competitions. This is a team that changed coach three or four games ago and we can already guess what the new coach wants from them. We will visit their stadium with the logical complications attached to it. And we know this is a derby that is different from any other game.”
“Derby is always a special game for every player of Barcelona and victory against Espanyol is what we’re looking for. A good experience for our players. That will never change. Their coach Galca made a great joy to Steaua, but his work can be seen already now in Espnayol and there is no doubt that the game won’t be an easy one for us.”
Messi made his debut in 2004 exactly against Espanyol, which will again have to watch tightly the fantastic Argentinean.
Seven consecutive victory in league matches has Barcelona, who against Espanyol away won the last three times without conceding a goal. The last time Barca was defeated at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat was back in 2007.
Espanyol: P.Lopez – J.Lopez, A.Gonzalez, Roco, Duarte – Diop, V.Sanchez(Canas) – H.Perez, Asensio, S.Sevilla – F.Caicedo
Out: Arbilla, Canas, Victor Sanchez
Barcelona: Bravo – Dani Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Rakitić, Iniesta – Messi, Suarez, Neymar