Why Barcelona vs. Espanyol Is the Game to Watch in La Liga This Weekend
The excitement is palpable.
If feels like forever since we have had La Liga action, but this weekend it returns.
Action gets underway on Friday night and spreads itself over four days, with none of the games kicking off at the same time.
Deportivo La Coruna start the year with a new manager. They welcome Malaga to Galicia as they bid to leave the bottom spot behind.
The game of the weekend, of course, sees Barcelona take on Espanyol.
Read on to find out why.
Aguirre Takes His Unbeaten Start to Camp Nou
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It's been a productive start to life at Barcelona's "other club" for Javier Aguirre.
Since replacing Mauricio Pochettino, he has overseen four games. In none of those games were Espanyol defeated.
They impressively snatched a draw at Real Madrid, before seeing the year out with a win over fellow relegation strugglers Deportivo La Coruna.
To continue his impressive start, the Mexican will have to get something at Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Vilanova Set to Return
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Against Valladolid, in Barca's last game, Jordi Roura oversaw a 3-1 win in the wake of the devastating news that Tito Vilanova had experienced a relapse.
Not expected to be back in the hot-seat for some time, it now appears Tito is already prepared to lead La Blaugrana again.
He's taken training this week and is keen to return to the dugout for the visit of Espanyol this weekend.
His health and presence will provide a boost to the players, fans and everyone associated with the club at the start of 2013.
Messi Looks to Break His Duck
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By Sunday night—January 6—many players will have opened their scoring accounts for 2013.
Lionel Messi will not be one of them.
It is, of course, the Argentinian's first game of the calendar year.
As he bids to better his 91 goals in 2012, the city derby presents the perfect scenario to ignite that bid.
You don't want to miss his first, do you?
It's a Derby!
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It is often suggested that Barcelona are worshipped—or at least respected—all around the world.
That is, except inside the gates of Espanyol and Real Madrid.
This weekend, it is the former who will hope to play their part in El Derbi Barceloni.
The two sides last met in May last year. La Blaugrana won 4-0 in Pep Guardiola's final home game. Both sides have undergone managerial changes since.
February 2009 was the last time Espanyol won at Camp Nou—a brace from Ivan de la Pena helping them to a memorable 2-1 win.
The six La Liga games since then, though, have not produced much to shout about for Sunday's visitors.
Three successive defeats at Camp Nou are slightly bettered by the fact they have drawn two of their last three home games against Barca—losing the other 5-1.