Register Login Scores

International

Pique Back For Barcelona v Espanyol Derby

‘Tata’ Martino’s rotation policy at Barcelona should lead to a raft of changes for the Catalan derby against Espanyol at the Camp Nou tonight.

Spanish international defender Gerard Pique is expected to the return to the starting line-up, after missing Barca’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo earlier this week.

Full-back Adriano has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, and will likely be replaced by Martin Montoya, with Jordi Alba still nursing hamstring twang himself.

Barca’s strength in depth is frightening, and Espanyol will be mortified to see that all of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Neymar will start the match refreshed, as well as tackling terrier Javier Mascherano.

Martino knows Espanyol’s Mexican coach Javier Aguirre well, and he has predicted that Barca’s neighbours will present a difficult challenge in the derby.

There is no love lost between the two Catalan teams, and Martino is wary of Espanyol’s ability to mix winning ugly with moments of eye-catching brilliance.

“One of Espanyol’s characteristics is to be warrior-like and combative, but when they have the ball they can grow with players like Sergio Garcia, Pizzi and Simao who can play,” Martino said ahead of the game.

“They stand out for their fighting qualities, but you must be wary of them when they have the ball.”

Barca Ease Past Espanyol

Ten-Man Atleti See Off Espanyol

35 comments

Top 5

In Numbers: Dolly’s Chiefs Masterclass

78 Oct 18, 2021 08:25 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Pictures: How Messi Celebrated First PSG Goal

6 Sep 29, 2021 08:28 AM in UEFA Champions League

Patient Kwanda Comments On 'Tough' Bucs Debut

4 Oct 18, 2021 12:41 PM in Orlando Pirates

Players Clubs Can Still Sign For Free

1 Oct 01, 2021 10:28 AM in International

Rulani Slams Bafana: There’s No Data!

91 Oct 18, 2021 02:25 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

The 10 Biggest Stadiums In Africa

12 Oct 18, 2021 12:25 PM in African Football

Mabizela Plans For New Football Challenge?

13 Oct 17, 2021 12:03 PM in PSL

Shuffle, Junior, Shabba – The Amakhosi Legends Car Collection

9 Oct 15, 2021 01:13 PM in Stars & Their Cars

Official: Mourinho Makes Final Decision On Newcastle Job!

2 Oct 18, 2021 08:25 AM in English Premier League

The Cost Of Not Hosting 'The Big Three'

31 Oct 18, 2021 04:12 PM in PSL

BREAKING! All The Ballon d'Or Nominees Revealed

5 Oct 08, 2021 06:33 PM in Ballon d’Or

Dolly’s Chiefs Transformation Explained

16 Oct 18, 2021 10:56 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

25 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

Pitso Breaks Silence Following R54m Contract Agreement

23 Oct 18, 2021 04:04 PM in Players Abroad