Barcelona travels to Cornellà to face crosstown rivals Esp anyol in a key La Liga match after nearly two weeks off to relax, heal and practice in sunny Catalonia. Defeating their local rivals in their stadium and winning their first La Liga title in four years seems simple for Barça. If neither Madrid team wins their match before the Catalan Derby, Barça will begin the match as champions regardless of the result. Still, if Real or Atlético wins, the pressure will be on Barça to do the job themselves and get all three points to end the title race officially. Read out complete details about Barcelona’s lineup against Espanyol for the La Liga title down below.
Barcelona’s lineup against Espanyol for the La Liga title
This Sunday’s matchup is intriguing because Espanyol is in the middle of the relegation fight and desperately needs a result. They have the added motive of preventing their biggest rivals from winning the title in their home. Our best guess as to how Xavi Hernández will deploy his soldiers on Sunday is as follows.
The 12-day gap between Barça’s last game and the derby was crucial to fully recover a team that was on its last legs after a very busy stretch post-international break, but with the squad fully healthy (other than Sergi Roberto) and rested for this one, there is little doubt about which 11 players will play on Sunday.
The Gala XI is back, with Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, and Alejandro Balde protecting Marc-André ter Stegen’s goal and setting up the six players in front of them to score enough goals to win the championship.
Since Ousmane Dembélé returned from injury, Xavi has carefully managed his minutes and waited until the ideal time to give him his first start in almost four months. Dembélé’s return is ideal after a 12-day rest and a week of training. Raphinha did well as the starter, but Dembélé is poised to destroy Espanyol in his position.
Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Gavi (4-3-3)