Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
The Catalan derby on Sunday (1800 GMT) plays witness to a record-breaking Barcelona side who remain unbeaten this season.
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Barcelona return from their winter break 9 points clear at the top of the table, in what appears to be an unassailable position. Having dropped only 2 points from their opening 51 Barca are well on their way to breaking all kinds of records.
The Barca side will also be buoyed by Tito Vilanova’s return to training on Wednesday following a re-appearance of throat cancer. He is expected back within the next month after having surgery for his cancer.
High-flying Barcelona face an Espanyol side unbeaten in four. Within this run they managed a shock 2-2 draw away at Real Madrid. Lying in the relegation zone they’ll be hoping to pull off a similar shock result against their Catalan neighbors to drag themselves out of trouble.
However, only one team have managed to get a point off Barcelona this season and that was three months ago. Superstar Lionel Messi will be looking to get off the mark for 2013 following his unbelievable 2012 record of 91 goals.
Cesc Fabregas is the only notable absentee for Barcelona, whilst Eric Abidal continues his comeback effort following a tumor in his liver.
Espanyol have found goals hard to come by this season. Despite that, in their last 3 fixtures, midfielder Verdu and Simao have both scored twice.
Espanyol will try and frustrate their neighbors but don’t expect a positive result for the lowly Catalans. Barca to win? A dead cert.