Barcelona v Espanyol
Barcelona will have no dearth of motivation when the team meets arch-rivals Espanyol for the Premiera Liga match on Saturday. The defending champions will be hoping to win the game in order to stay in the hunt.
Apart from this being a derby match for the city rivals, Barcelona need a victory in order to keep alive any hopes of a third successive title triumph. However a defeat at hands of their city rivals and a victory for Real Madrid against Real Zaragoza would mean an end of any title hopes for the club
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are tied on points, but Madrid sit in the driving seat with better head-to-head result against Barcelona. Having already triumphed over Espanyol on Tuesday in the Catalonia Cup, albeit only on penalties, Barcelona will be looking to improve its performance in the league fixture.
However since both the sides fielded their reserve squads in the final of the Catalonia Cup, Barca could face a very different side in the league fixture. Barcelona will also be looking for revenge over the 3-1defeat at the hands of their rivals early in January this year.
Meanwhile Barcelona could be without the services of Brazilian ace Ronaldinho, who was sent-off during Barca's 1-0 victory over Getafe last week. The Barcelona management has appealed against the decision and will present video evidence to the league's disciplinary committee although it could be too late by the time the decision is made either way.
Espanyol has had a horrendous season by their own high standards. Having lost out to Sevilla in the UEFA Cup finals last month, Espanyol now find themselves out of contention for a place in Europe next season. Their domestic form in the La Liga has also not been noteworthy. Espanyol sit on the 11 spot in the La Liga table with just 48 points from 36 games played so far.
The tie against Barcelona will give them plenty of motivation because last season Barca fans riled them about possible relegation when they played at Camp Nou. So fans can expect a mouthwatering match with or without the mercurial Ronaldinho. Barcelona v Espanyol will be available live online courtesy of Free Football TV.
Tags: Barcelona, Espanyol, Real Madrid, Ronaldinho, UEFA Cup, La Liga, Barcelona v Espanyol, Free Football TV