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The confirmation derby for Barça

Matchday 24

Xavi’s team seeks to continue with the good feelings shown against Atlético and continue climbing in the table

Confirm the good feelings shown against Atlético and continue climbing the table. That is the double objective with which Barcelona will jump to the RCDE Stadium to face Espanyol in the Catalan derby. The team led by Xavi gave a blow of effect last day and now they need three points that will allow them to open a gap in the fight for the Champions League places for the first time throughout the course, with a victory that continues to fill morale to a team that has more and more faith in its possibilities.

«Consolidate the good things about Atlético and improve others. We have two good results in a row, but we have to continue. The distance is difficult, but we do not rule anything out. The sensations are getting better and better, let’s see how far we are able to compete”, said Xavi at the press conference prior to his team’s duel against Espanyol. His words are those of a technician who begins to see how his project comes out of a very deep tunnel. Barcelona met again against Atlético with the best version of itself, a version that he thought had been forgotten and that he hopes will be the one that sets the course for the remainder of the season. That day, before a direct rival, the Tarrasa coach spoke of a “turning point” that must be consolidated in a hostile scenario such as the parakeet feud.

Barcelona will land in the Catalan derby with the guarantee of living their best moment of the season after adding 14 of the last 18 League points at stake. Xavi’s men have recovered sensations but will arrive at the RCDE Stadium once again with a long list of absences. The Tarrasa coach will not be able to count on Dani Alves due to suspension after his expulsion against Atlético and he will not be able to do so due to injury with Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, Lenglet, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, and Wagué. In addition to these losses, Balde and Adama Traoré are doubts until the last minute due to physical problems.

All these setbacks will force Xavi to form an eleven with novelties. The Egarense coach will return to the 4-3-3 that he gave such a good performance against Atlético but will have to resort to Sergiño Dest to solve the absence of a fixed Dani Alves on the right side. The North American will be the great novelty of a team that will repeat the backbone of last day as long as Adama Traoré finally manages to enter the squad. Aubameyang and Dembélé, already pardoned by Xavi, could be the alternatives in the face of a possible absence of the former Wolverhampton player.

It will not be an easy match for Barcelona, ​​the Catalan derby never is. In the first leg, played at the Camp Nou, the parakeets fell by the minimum and only the wood on two occasions in the final stretch prevented them from taking more loot. Those of Vicente Moreno arrive at the appointment also with the need to get out of a pothole of results. The eternal rival and at home is the ideal setting to clear up the doubts generated after the defeats against Elche, Betis and Athletic, three setbacks that have taken Espanyol away from the European positions. A win would open that path again and give the Blue and Whites morale for the final stretch of the season. “It is a special game for everyone. It is a good antidote for everything. Winning these types of games can always give you a lot, ”said Vicente Moreno in the run-up to the match.

To achieve this “antidote”, Vicente Moreno will be able to count on practically all of his players, with the exception of Óscar Gil, who received the fifth yellow card in the last match, and Fernando Calero and David López, both due to injury. Raúl de Tomás, who already has twelve goals in the league, will be on the pitch at the RCDE Stadium and will have his particular revenge after the two balls hit the post at the Camp Nou. «He wanted to score in the first round, because he played a very good game. I notice in his eyes that tomorrow he will remove the thorn », Vicente Moreno affirmed regarding the top parakeet.

-Probable alignments:

  • Spanish:
    Diego López, Aleix Vidal, Cabrera, Sergi Gómez, Pedrosa, Morlanes, Darder, Vilhena, Melendo, De Tomás and Puado.

  • Barcelona:
    Ter Stegen, Dest, Araújo, Piqué, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Adama Traoré, Ferran Torres and Gavi.

  • Referee:
    Hernández Hernández (Committee of Las Palmas).

  • Stadium:
    RCDE Stadium.

  • Time and TV:
    21:00. Movistar LaLiga.

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