Barcelona vs Espanyol
Following the results of the 20th round of the championship of Spain, the team of Ernesto Valverde managed to increase the gap from "Atletico", going second, to 11 points. Blue garnet was able to do this not only thanks to the defeat of Betis (5-0), but also due to the fact that Atletico on the Vanda Metropolitan could not deal with the Girona (1:1).
Unfortunately, the 20th round was remembered for "Barcelona" not only good. Another trauma was defender Thomas Vermaelen, who, due to damage to the back of the thigh, will miss two weeks.
Chances of blue-garnet to success in the second leg are very high. In the 15 home confrontations of the season, only twice Messi and his comrades failed to win - 1:3 with Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and 2-2 with Celta in the 14th round of La Liga.
On Thursday, to help Barcelona, Philippe Coutinho, who due to a hamstrings injury, could not make his debut in the new team.
Espanyol to the results of the children Valverde can only envy. In 20 matches, blue and white scored only 24 points, which allows them to be located only on the 14th line in the championship. Up to blue-garnet 30 points, and to the European Cup six - eight.
On Saturday home battle with Sevilla, Espanyol broke the 4-game series without defeats, considering all the tournaments. The Andalusians could not win in La Liga since the beginning of December last year, but Espanyol helped them to fix it - 3: 0 in favor of the red and white.
On the road, football players Kike Sanchez Flores generally play poorly. Until January, they had in their assets exactly zero guest victories, but with the onset of the New Year managed to overcome the "Malaga" in the championship of Spain (1:0), and "Levante" in the national cup.
In the first meeting the guys Valverde lost 0-1, which means that if the "Espanyol" will be able to excel again, Messi and the company will have to score three times already.
I think Barcelona will give preference to the attacking game, not to the actions in the defense. In this case, the guests should have a good chance to print the opponent's goal, but on the home arena blue garnet will still score more.
Barcelona vs Espanyol prediction
|Barcelona win & Both Teams to Score||Bet365||2.50||7||2-0 LOST (-7 units)|