Xavi’s words on Pelé and his legend
FC Barcelona coach Xavi offered his condolences to Pelé’s family and talked about his immense legacy and legend all around the world.
Barcelona vs Espanyol: Line-ups
Barcelona Set to Dominate
Barcelona have won 12, drawn one and lost one of their 14 La Liga matches this season to collect 37 points, which has left them top of the table, two points clear of second-placed Real Madrid.
The Catalan outfit have scored 33 goals in La Liga this season, which is the joint-most alongside Real Madrid, while they have comfortably the best defensive record with just five conceded. Xavi’s team were last in action on November 8, recording a 2-1 victory over Osasuna, with Pedri and Raphinha scoring in the second half after David Garcia had made the breakthrough in the sixth minute of the clash.
Barcelona could be second by the time that this match kicks off, with Real Madrid facing Real Valladolid on Friday night, but they will fancy their chances of ending the year top of the table. Blaugrana have been victorious in their last five league matches, conceding just once during that run, and their next La Liga game after this one is away to Atletico Madrid on January 8. The Catalan side will be in Copa del Rey action against Intercity on January 4, while they will take on Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 11.
The White and Blues have played twice in the Copa del Rey since their last league game, though, beating both Rincon and Atletico Paso to progress in the competition. Espanyol will be back in Copa del Rey action against Celta Vigo on January 3, while their first league game of 2023 will be at home to Girona on January 7. Diego Martinez’s side are currently 16th in Spain’s top flight, having picked up just 12 points from their opening 14 matches of the campaign, which has left them one point clear of the relegation zone.
Espanyol have only won twice in the league this term, which is the joint-second worst record in terms of victories behind Elche, who are yet to triumph in Spain’s top flight in 2022-23. Periquitos held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw when the two teams last locked horns in February, but they have not beaten their Catalan rivals in Spain’s top flight since February 2009.
Barcelona have been excellent defensively this season, only conceding five times in 14 matches, while Espanyol have scored just 16 La Liga goals during the 2022-23 campaign. A home victory to nil seems the most likely outcome on Saturday, as Barcelona should have too much for their rivals in this contest.