Espanyol vs. Barcelona 1/4/20 Spanish LaLiga Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
1/4/20 3 pm
Over 2.5 (-175), Under 2.5 (+137)
Espanyol is welcoming Barcelona to RCDE Stadium in a derby match of round 19 of Spanish LaLiga.
Espanyol is a disaster this season with only 10 points from 18 games and is dead last in the standings. Espanyol has scored only 12 goals so far this season while conceding massive 34 goals. Espanyol has lost 4 of their last 6 games. In the Europa League, Espanyol got qualified past the group stage from the first place in their group and will play against Wolverhampton in the first round of the knockouts. I don’t like this matchup for Espanyol because Wolves are playing really well this season. In their last LaLiga match versus Leganes away from home, Espanyol had 60% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks, and 67% of the correct passes. Espanyol had a solid match offensively, but their defense was a disaster once again and Espanyol lost this match 2-0. Espinosa, Darder, and Roca have each scored 2 goals for Espanyol this season. Vargas, Sanchez, Melendo, and Corchia are all injured and will not be in the lineup. Espanyol is playing really bad soccer in LaLiga this season, but there is still enough time to turn things around, but for that to happen Espanyol must fix their defense, and then start scoring more goals. It’s fascinating how a team can play different soccer in different competitions as Espanyol does. Dead last in LaLiga, first in their group in the Europa League.
Barcelona is playing well and hasn’t lost any of their last 11 games both in LaLiga and in the Champions League. Barcelona is in the first place in LaLiga with 39 points, 47 scored goals, and 21 conceded goals. The season started poorly on the defensive end for Barcelona, but as the season progressed, Barcelona’s defense improved and became more consistent. Messi has scored 13 goals and added 6 assists in 13 LaLiga games this season, while Suarez added 10 goals and 6 assists in 16 games so far. Griezmann who was Barcelona’s biggest purchase this summer has 7 goals and 4 assists. Dembele is injured, while Arthur is still not game-ready. In their latest LaLiga match against Alaves just before the Christmas break, Barcelona was fantastic with 69% of ball possession, 3 corner kicks, 4 shots on goal, and high 90% of the correct passes. Barcelona has won this game 4-1 and Suarez had 3 assists and 1 goal in this game. As I said, Barcelona’s defense is solid, and Ter Stegen is having a good season between the posts, but their offense is still not on the highest level we know Barcelona can play. In the Champions League, Barcelona will play against Napoli is the top 16 in what I expect to be a matchup filled with great chances and goals. Barcelona is playing nice soccer, with a lot of passes in the midfield and is super effective on the counterattacks. With 47 scored goals in 18 games, Barcelona is the best-attacking team in Spain and is once again the main favorite to win LaLiga title. In the Champions League, I’m giving the advantage to Barcelona in the first round of the knockouts, after that, we will see who their next opponent will be, but Barcelona is still one of the top favorites to win the title.
Espanyol has had some success against Barcelona recently, but in their current form, there is no way I will side with Espanyol. Barcelona is a much better team, in a much better form. With Messi, Griezmann, and Suarez all playing, I see Barcelona scoring at least 3 goals in this match and winning another 3 points.