Camp Nou

Next Game

Barcelona v Villarreal

Sunday, 01 February 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Vicente Calderon

Last Game

A Madrid 2 - 3 Barcelona

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 20:00

Copa del Rey Quarter Final

La Liga weekend preview

Barcelona will attempt to wrestle back the spotlight that Real Madrid have been commanding for the past 24 hours when they take on city rivals Espanyol at the Nou Camp on Friday night.

Last Updated: 01/11/13 at 08:03 Post Comment

Barcelona: Looking to continue their fine form against Espanyol

Barcelona: Looking to continue their fine form against Espanyol

A 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Tuesday night had seen Barca take centre stage until they were eclipsed by Real on Wednesday when Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick guided them to a stunning 7-3 win over Sevilla.

However, while such a result inevitably dominated the back pages it cannot alter the fact the defending champions are four points clear of Atletico Madrid - who have a game in hand - and a further two in front of Real.

This can be extended even further on Friday when they take on Espanyol, who are 16 points adrift of their hosts in eighth.

Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla insists the players know "how important the derby against Barcelona is" but of whether he feared Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi or Neymar the most, the keeper retorted: "I have total respect and they are high-level players, although none frightens me.

"If you're afraid, you stay home ."

Real have been riding high since their 10-goal thriller at the Bernabeu on Wednesday which, as well as bearing witness to Ronaldo's treble, saw Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema both score twice.

Los Blancos next face Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, a team who have won three and lost eight of their 11 matches this season before they pay a trip to Turin to meet Juventus with the Spanish team enjoying a 100 per cent record at the top of their Champions League group.

Bale, who commanded a world-record transfer fee of 100 million euros when he moved from Tottenham last month, said: "It's a very exciting time. We have big matches ahead and everyone's looking forward to them.

"We're feeling very confident and hopefully we can keep winning and giving performances like tonight's."

In Saturday's other matches, Sevilla will look to bounce back from their Bernabeu mauling when they host Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad face Osasuna and bottom side Almeria will look to add to their first victory of the season.

Almeria came from a goal down to beat Valencia 2-1 to bring to an end a run of five successive losses and now coach Francisco has called on them to repeat that feat when they host Valladolid.

He said: "We needed a win like this to continue working with optimism because we believe in what we are doing even though the results have not been with us.

"Now what we have to do is think of Valladolid and get the three points. This has just started... ahead we have a complicated and difficult path that we hope to overcome with the support of all."

Sunday's matches see Atletico aim to keep up the pressure with a home against Athletic Bilbao, Valencia attempt to respond to their Almeria defeat at Getafe, Levante take on Granada and Malaga face Real Betis.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: FA charges Chelsea striker Diego Costa over 'stamp' on Liverpool's Emre Can

The FA have charged Chelsea striker Diego Costa with violent conduct over his clash with Liverpool's Emre Can on Tuesday.

Transfer news: Arsenal complete the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista

Arsenal have completed the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel on a long-term deal, for an undisclosed fee.

Gabriel Paulista has joined Arsenal from Villarreal, with striker Joel Campbell

Gabriel Paulista has joined Arsenal from Villarreal, with striker Joel Campbell going to the Spanish club on loan.

Mail Box

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

'Diego Costa Is A Thug.' Sore Losers..?

There is plenty of fallout from Diego Costa's stamps of authority on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final. Plus Blatter, Rodgers' substitutions and stretching the transfer truth...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company