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Barcelona heads to Espanyol in local derby aiming to hang on to top spot

Gerard Pique Espanyol vs Barcelona Betting Odds Preview La Liga soccer Spain

Barcelona appears to be back where they belong, the current champions once again top of Spain’s La Liga and looking down on their assorted title rivals. On Saturday, they face a different type of test as they head to Espanyol in a fierce local derby, and their hosts would like nothing more than to topple their neighbor’s already slightly shaky title defence, with others waiting to pounce on any Barça slip-up.

SHARK BITES
  • Espanyol has lost its last three league games in a row.
  • Barcelona is unbeaten in its last three league outings on the road.
  • Barcelona has won 17 of the last 26 meetings between these teams.

Espanyol vs Barcelona Game Center

Espanyol in desperate need of points

After an excellent start to the season, Espanyol has since lost its last three league outings and is in desperate need of something from this game to get its season back on track. Despite the recent misfortunes, the side still sits seventh in the table and, depending on how other results go this weekend, could go level on points with Alaves if they pull off a shock win here.

That, of course, will be easier said than done against the side that is top of the table. The Catalan giants sit just a point clear of Sevilla in second, and they know they can precious afford any more setbacks, having lost twice already this season while leaking goals at a rate close to 1.5 goals per game.

It is indeed Barcelona that comes into this derby as the red-hot favorite to claim local bragging rights. You can back the champions to take all three points at just -200, with Espanyol out at +550 to do the same. A draw is priced in the middle at +333.

Barça should record comfortable win

Given Espanyol’s recent poor form and Barcelona’s clear technical superiority, we are expecting the visitors to record a fairly comfortable victory on Saturday night, thereby hanging on to top spot regardless of the results of their rivals. While it is not easy trying to predict the exact scoreline of any football game – particularly a local derby – a 3-1 win for Barça comes in at +1000 and, given the recent form of both sides, could well be worth backing.

Such a result would then allow you to back OVER 2.5 goals in the game, which is priced very short at -163, as well as both teams to score, which comes in at only -143. Therefore, in an attempt to boost any potential earnings from this game, take a look at combo betting, which allows you to select multiple outcomes at higher odds.

For example, a combo bet of a Barcelona win coupled with both teams to score is at the higher price of +187, while an away victory and OVER 2.5 goals is at +110. OVER 2.5 goals and both teams to score is at +100.

Could Barcelona make a fast start?

Given their technical class and the fact this is a derby, we are expecting Barcelona to start at a frenetic pace and try to snatch an early goal. You can therefore back OVER 0.5 goals in the first 10 minutes at +275, with Barcelona at double that price (+550) to be ahead by the end of that time period.

This really is a game that Barça is likely to dominate and you can back the champions to win to nil (without Espanyol scoring a goal) at +175. In addition, the visitors are priced at +110 to score in both halves, while you can back them at +275 to actually go out and win both halves – just as they did last time out against Villarreal.

In terms of goalscorers, Lionel Messi is once again the talisman for this Barça side. The Argentine is at just -175 to net at any time throughout the 90 minutes, while he is at +240 to score either the first or the last goal of the game.

Barça may have stumbled earlier in the season but they are very much back on track now. This should be a win with a minimum of fuss.

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