Starting XI: Espanyol v Barca
Spanish LaLiga Starting XI: Espanyol v FC Barcelona 04 February 2018
Teams: Espanyol v FC Barcelona
Date: 04 February 2018
Venue: RCDE Stadium
Espanyol will be looking to avenge their Copa del Rey defeat when they host local rivals and LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday.
The match is scheduled to get underway at 17h15.
Last time the Blaugrana visited Espanyol, they left with a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final. However, Ernesto Valverde’s side reversed that deficit in their home leg, which they won 2-0.
Valverde previously played for and managed Espanyol, but there will be little room for sentiment once his charges step out onto the pitch. They have been ruthless all season and will want to extend their unbeaten run in the 2017/18 campaign to a club record 22 matches.
The five-time European champions had only once gone unbeaten in the first 21 games of a season prior to this one — under Pep Guardiola in 2009-10.
By contrast, Espanyol have lost three games in a row in all competitions since their Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg triumph. They will want to halt their slide, but stopping the well-oiled Barcelona machine will be no small task.
Here's how they line up:
Espanyol: Diego López, David López, Aarón Martín, Marc Navarro, Naldo, Darder, Léo Baptistão, Granero, Víctor, Jurado, Gerard.
Barca: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta, Coutinho; Alcácer, Suárez.
Who do you think will come out on top? Have your say in the comment section below.