Espanyol vs. Barcelona: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 28: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves at the Camp Nou on January 28, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona will face Catalan rivals Espanyol for the fourth time this season when they meet at the RCDE Stadium on Monday.

The Blaugrana won 5-0 when the pair met at the Camp Nou in September, and overcame a 1-0 deficit in the Copa del Rey quarter-final to win 2-1 over two legs last month.

Read on for a closer look ahead to the latest clash, but first, here are the viewing details you need to catch the game:


Date: Sunday, February 4

Time: 3:15 p.m. GMT/10:15 a.m. ET

TV: Sky Sports (UK), beIN Sports USA

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), beIN Sports Connect USA


Team News

According to The Sun's Helen Rowe-Willcocks, Thomas Vermaelen and Ousmane Dembele will remain absent due to muscle and hamstring injuries, respectively, but Barcelona are otherwise injury and suspension free for the match.

Similarly, Rowe-Willcocks reported Espanyol are without injury worries and should have a full complement of players available to them.



Barca's defeat to Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final was the first they had suffered in any competition since losing to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup at the start of the campaign.

Ernesto Valverde's men have otherwise proved to be exceptionally resilient, so it was perhaps unsurprising they were able to turn around the tie.

Barca improved in the second leg, though as Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez noted, they're typically able to do so over the course of a single game thanks to Valverde's management:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Particularly appreciate how Barcelona’s second halves under Valverde are outstanding. Being able to effectively adapt the team midway through matches is Barça’s biggest weapon this season.

It's something Espanyol will need to be wary of if they're to come out on top. In Barca's last La Liga outing, they handed Alaves a shock lead through some poor defending, per Yahoo Sport's Andrew Gaffney:

Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC

Whenever you see that defending from Barcelona for Alaves' goal it's painful. Pique charging forward, way in the oppo's half, leaving Umtiti to try and catch Guidetti by himself. Semedo guilty of maybe being too far forward as well seeing as Alaves were in possession.

However, the Catalan giants were able to produce a late comeback to win the match despite a spirited performance from the side battling relegation.

Valverde's ability to change things up in response to Barca's opponents is a contributing factor, though it also helps to have Lionel Messi in superlative form.

By his own standards, the Argentinian had endured a relatively poor game against Alaves, but he was still able to fire home a late free-kick to win the match.

Dugout demonstrated the impressive run he's enjoying:

Dugout @Dugout

🇦🇷 Lionel Messi's recent form for @FCBarcelona: 🗓️ Games: 10 ⚽ Goals: 10 🎯 Assists: 5 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/c9WkzSDaq8

Espanyol should take heart from their recent success against Barcelona at home, but replicating it will be difficult.

The Periquitos have lost their last two games and have scored just 18 goals in La Liga—only three teams have netted fewer—so it will take a remarkable effort for them to get something out of this match, even at home.  


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