Espanyol will host their Catalan derby rivals, Barcelona, on Sunday with a twofold goal: to safe three essential factors of their combat for survival whereas concurrently impeding the guests’ conquest of the La Liga title.
Xavi Hernandez’s facet can win the league for the primary time since 2019 in the event that they emerge victorious on the RCDE stadium, an unthinkable proposition for residence supporters.
The Catalans can even elevate the title if each second-place Atletico Madrid and third-place Actual Madrid fail to win their matches towards Elche and Getafe, respectively.
In distinction, Espanyol are combating for his or her lives on the different finish of the desk, at the moment nineteenth and three factors from security with 5 video games remaining.
They had been relegated in 2020 for the primary time in nearly three many years however instantly returned to the highest flight in 2021.
Espanyol grew to become the primary La Liga facet to attain at Camp Nou this season with a 1-1 draw towards Barcelona in December, and solely Actual Madrid have achieved the feat since.
Joselu struck a penalty to equalize that day and the Spanish worldwide striker warned Barcelona that regardless of the groups’ positions, in a derby there’s a degree taking part in discipline.
“Within the first match, additionally they got here into it very strongly,” Joselu instructed DAZN.
“They (thought they) had been going to place 5 towards us on the Camp Nou and we bought a really constructive end result.
“They’ve numerous benefit over us coming into the second match, however in the long run, a derby is a derby and you may see all of it in derbies.
“One facet might be higher and one other worse, however there, all strengths are leveled out.”
Espanyol’s defeat final weekend by Sevilla leaves Barcelona’s “different” membership in a precarious place.
“We have now to maintain combating as a result of there are video games and factors left, we won’t hand over,” insisted defender Leandro Cabrera.
Nonetheless, of the golf equipment combating relegation, Espanyol have arguably the worst remaining fixtures.
In addition to Barcelona’s go to on Sunday, they host Atletico Madrid and Almeria at residence, in addition to visiting Rayo Vallecano and Valencia.
The final time Espanyol beat Barcelona in La Liga, coach Luis Garcia was taking part in for them, in February 2009 at Camp Nou.
Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets will seemingly function in one among his final video games for the membership after asserting Wednesday that he would depart on the finish of the season when his contract expires.
The 34-year-old, who has featured over 700 instances for the membership, has 5 official matches remaining with the Catalan giants.
As a World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain, some Espanyol followers could also be inclined to supply him farewell applause, however he will not be banking on it in enemy territory with a lot at stake.
It’s noteworthy that Barcelona have saved 25 clear sheets this season, one in need of the all-time La Liga document