Date: Wednesday June 18, 2020 Start - 23:00 Mecca Canal - 13HD
Time is running for Barcelona. Their 2-2 draw with Atlético Madrid ended their eight-game winning career, and they are now four points from Real Madrid at the top of the League. Disappointing results against Atlético, Celta de Vigo and Sevilla have given Barça fans a nightmare, something they have not seen since 2017 when Zinedine Zidane's team last won the league title.
Barcelona was the best in the league when Quique Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January. His surprising dismissal was due in part to the club's shocking defeats in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage. Valverde enjoyed great success at the national level, but his former club could now face the humiliating transfer of power to its great rival.
Barcelona is a big favorite to beat Espanyol on Wednesday, but any mistake could make Setien look to his UEFA Champions League campaign with Napoli, his next opponents.
In team news, Frenkie de Jong is out while Samuel Umtiti is still recovering from a knee complaint.
The predicted team from Barcelona
Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Roberto, Busquets, Vidal, Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Espanyol's 1-0 loss to Leganes in a six-point decline last weekend has almost ensured the Catalan team's relegation. The lower part of La Liga has 24 points and 11 safety points with 12 points on offer. Francisco Rufete's team requires a miracle to stay in the division. Anything other than a victory against Barcelona will end his 26-year reign in Spain's top flight.
Espanyol's difficult situation was a long way from last season when they qualified for the UEFA Europa League. Rufete was riding on the crest of a wave after securing Espanyol's best league result in over fifteen years. Now the pendulum has swung, and this season has become Espanyol's worst season in more than 30 years.
The form of the host will give very little hope to even the most ardent and optimistic followers. Espanyol has not won in their last seven league games. However, Espanyol tied late against Barcelona on the reverse earlier this season.
In team news, Espanyol has to climb a mountain with forwarding Jonathan Calleri suspended by the tie. Pipa is a doubt with a muscle problem.
Espanyol predicted team
D. López, J. López, Espinosa, Cabrera, Vila, Roca, D. López, Darder, Melendo, Embarba, Tomás
Espanyol is 90 minutes from the end of their almost four-decade career in La Liga. Barcelona knows anything less than a victory will not only condemn their local rival but will also affect their chances of taking the title. You can follow all the action through beIN CONNECT.