December 29, 2021 | News | No Comments
class=”article_teaser__2t5do”>The Blaugrana have a new man at the helm, but Xavi Hernandez's first game in charge of his former club could be a tricky prospect
The first match for Xavi Hernandez as manager of Barcelona is a Catalan derby in La Liga as cross-city rivals Espanyol visit Camp Nou on Saturday evening.
The Blaugrana’s last game before the international break saw them squander a three-goal lead at Celta Vigo to draw 3-3 and, with the side languishing in ninth place in the table, the arrival of club legend Xavi has provided a much-needed morale boost.
Barcelona vs Espanyol latest odds
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Barcelona have won just two of their last nine matches in La Liga, with their last victory in the competition coming on October 17.
The hosts, however, are clear favourites to beat their neighbours and are offered at just 4/11 (1.36) with bet365.
Espanyol have not won at Camp Nou since 2009 and are available at 15/2 (8.50) to end that run this weekend with the draw priced at 4/1 (5.00).
Barcelona vs Espanyol first goalscorer
Memphis Depay is the shortest priced player to break the deadlock offered at 10/3 (4.33) ahead of Luuk De Jong at 4/1 (5.00).
The Dutch pair have a strong chance of starting the game with Ansu Fati and Sergio Aguero both out.
The visitors boast the top scoring Spaniard in La Liga and Raul De Tomas, who started for Spain in midweek, can be backed at 15/2 (8.50).
Barcelona vs Espanyol preview
Two clean sheets in 12 league matches this season underline the problems that Barcelona have faced at the back and recovering solidity through structure will be one of Xavi’s priorities.
Espanyol will be confident of keeping their strong scoring form going this weekend and Vicente Moreno’s side have scored in nine of their last 10 matches.
Indeed, Espanyol have netted against Real Madrid (whom they beat) and Atletico Madrid (to whom they lost in injury time) and should be well fancied to score at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barca, for their part, may have defensive problems but they have found the back of the net in every league game they have played at home this term, making both teams to score an attractive option.
Barcelona vs Espanyol tips & predictions
Both teams to score has paid out in six of the Blaugrana’s seven home league games this season and a repeat looks a tempting option at 10/11 (1.91).
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Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.