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With all the factors entering this game, there is no reason to expect that Barcelona will have trouble with the final score line. I predict Barcelona winning by a score of 3-0.
But that does not mean that Espanyol will not push its Catalan brothers. Fans should expect Barcelona to struggle early on as Espanyol will come out with a lot of energy.
As always tends to happen, Barcelona will deal with the early energy and eventually settle into its poetic rhythm.
La Blaugrana will take over the game before halftime by possibly scoring a goal or two, but the second half will certainly be all Barcelona.
Look for Lionel Messi to score as usual, but this could be the game in which Pedro finally breaks out of his scoring slump.
There are other things that fans should look forward to as well. Martin Montoya could start over Dani Alves as it increasingly looks as if the 21-year-old will unseat the Brazilian.
Marc Bartra could also be a young player to feature late in place of Carles Puyol. Expect Adriano to also be subbed in late in the second half.
But the man to watch this game will be Jordi Alba who is quietly becoming the world’s best left-back. Expect Alba to have another impressive performance linking up with Iniesta on the left wing.
Nonetheless, expect nothing less than a huge Barcelona win in "El Derbi Barceloni."
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup
Martin Montoya, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Jordi Alba
Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fábregas
Pedro, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta.
How do you think game will play out? Will Barcelona win easy or be tested? Who will start for La Blaugrana? Don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre' Atkinson, The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report.
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