Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Barcelona vs Espanyol. We are back to our home turf to face the side of Espanyol for our next La Liga encounter. It is pretty clear right now that the La Liga title is pretty much out of hands for FC Barcelona. However, what we did in the previous game and have to do now is just to have fun. We cannot take much fatigue and stress for these games, and must not let the title slip get into our heads. The winning title was an unfulfilled desire.
Kickoff timings for this game are also 10 pm local time. This means that the match is going to be kicked off at 1 am in Pakistan and 1:30 am in India. I think this is a pretty favorable time to play. We already have some players who are playing regularly for us such as Messi and Stegen. Therefore, we need night time matches so that our players can at least benefit a little from the cool weather. Day time matches in this summer season in Spain are a struggle to play and can drain players fast.
BARCELONA VS ESPANYOL MATCH PREVIEW
Ter Stegen is going to start in goal. I have the same stuff to say about Ter Stegen in every article, isn’t it? He had a great game against Villareal as well. I think he deserved the clean sheet in that game because it was another great performance from him. I think the stats do not justify his quality. Oblak and Thibaut have more clean sheets than him because both teams have a better defense comparatively.
We are expecting the same defensive lineup such as the one against Villareal. Gerrard Pique and Clement Lenglet are going to start as Center Backs. I think this duo is gradually clicking for us. I think Pique and Lenglet are finally building decent chemistry together. Remember, I used to talk about their lack of compatibility in my articles before football was paused. However, I think that has improved a lot now. I think both of them understand each other’s game now. Lenglet is a hard worker and puts a lot of effort on the pitch. Nelson Semedo does the same. Semedo is the expected starter at Right-Back and Jordi Alba is going to start as Left-Back.
I think Setien might make a few changes in his midfield choices. He started Roberto, Busquests, and Vidal in the previous game. That did not work well for us. I think Roberto and Busquests were fantastic, but Vidal failed to impress. Therefore, I expect some changes in the starting midfield trio. I think Roberto deserves a spot on the team because of his previous performance. However, I also want that Puig starts as well. Rakitic is in fine form as well. Therefore, he must be in the lineup as well. It is going to be a tough choice for Setien.
There are a few possibilities now. I think Roberto can start and then Rakitic can come in later on. The same can be applied to Puig as well. Quique might start Raki, Busqi, and Roberto and can later bring in Puig. Busquests might be rested as well for the first half or so. Another possibility is that Setien ignores Roberto’s great performance in the previous fixture and start Raki, Busqi, and Puig. I think Setien is currently experimenting with new things to find out what works best for us. His previous game was an example of this. Let’s wait and see.
Wingers and Striker:
I think Setien’s choices in attack must be pretty straight forward. Suarez, Griezmann, and Messi must start this game as well. I think this can be our senior attacking trio for a long time to come. This was proven in the previous game. Now it is not guaranteed that this trio is going to work every time, but I think it is going to work more often for us. Griezmann is going to come in with a lot of confidence. He needs to start this game otherwise he is going to lose all his motivation again.
Griezmann can easily fit into the Barcelona attack system. We never gave him time and confidence to make him believe in himself. Suarez is in a pretty fine form as well. Now let’s talk about our substitutes. We have Ansu Fati and Braithwaite. I think both of them can get their playing time as well. I have a feeling that Fati might start above Suarez. However, my focus is only on Griezmann right now. He definitely can play for us longer than Suarez. Therefore, we need his experience and form. His form can benefit us a lot in CL.
I think Barcelona is going to dominate Espanyol just like we dominated Villareal. A defeat in this game is going to push Espanyol to the relegation. I think this game is going to be curtains for Espanyol. We are in good form and I think we are going to continue with it. I hope Quique makes fine formation and starting lineup choices. His choices pretty much worked perfectly in the previous game. I hope he comes up with a similar effective game plan in this match as well. I hope that Barca does not bottle this one.
My final score prediction for this game is Barcelona 3-0 Espanyol. I hope we see more goals than this. I expect my team to play for fun and entertainment. We fans deserve entertainment as well. This season has been pretty hard for us. I think it is time that we start ending at a great note and move into the Champions League with great momentum.
Anyway guys this is it from Barcelona vs Espanyol Match Preview. Stay tuned for more Match Previews, Reviews, and other news related to FC Barcelona.
Until the next time, Visca El Barca!