Espanyol vs Barcelona Tip
Current La Liga leaders Barcelona look to keep their title challenge alive, and stay above Real Madrid at the top of the table, as they visit mid-table Espanyol.
Espanyol vs Barcelona
Spanish La Liga – Saturday 29th April 2017 – 7:45pm
Best Odd of: 14/1 at Netbet
Best Odd of: 13/2 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 2/11 at Ladbrokes
Espanyol Recent Form
Espanyol are currently in ninth position and looking good to finish in the top-half of the table.
A home defeat to Atletico Madrid last weekend and a draw at struggling Sporting Gijon in midweek have all but ended their chances of a top-six finish, meaning they are just trying to consolidate their position with a win here.
Their form has been extremely inconsistent this season, although they have been playing well recently. They sit sixth in the form table with four wins, two draws and two defeats in their last eight games.
Barcelona Recent Form
A 2-0 defeat at Malaga a few weeks ago looked to have ended Barcelona’s title challenge, but they have got back on track with three consecutive wins.
Bottom side Osasuna were given a hammering in midweek, as Barca were simply brilliant in a 7-1 victory. That followed a last-gasp ‘El Clasico’ victory over Real Madrid last weekend and a hard-fought win over Real Sociedad the week before.
They have six wins and two defeats in their last eight games, whilst they exceeded the 100 goals scored mark during that victory over Osasuna.
They’re currently top on goal difference, having played a game more than Real, so they know anything but a victory could kill their title aspirations.
Head to Head Record
Looking at the head to head record between these sides, Barcelona are clearly head and shoulders above their opponents.
The most recent league meeting was at the Camp Nou in December, with Luis Suarez netting twice as Barcelona won 4-1. Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi added the other two goals in a typical dominant Barca performance.
Barca have won the last four, and 14 of the last 17 competitive meetings. The other three have ended level, so Espanyol haven’t beaten Barcelona in a league or cup game since February 2009. They did win a friendly match in 2011, but that doesn’t really mean anything as it was a non-competitive fixture.
Overall, these sides have met 53 times since 1994. Barcelona have won 35, 13 have been draws, and Espanyol have won just five in that time.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Barcelona should win this game comfortably and this is reflected in the betting odds. NetBet have the away side 1/6 for the victory, with Espanyol at 14/1 and the draw 25/4.
Lionel Messi and co score goals for fun, with 13 in their last three games and 15 in the last four meetings between these sides.
Barca to score over 2.5 goals is 2/3, with over 3.5 goals at 17/10.
Messi himself has scored eight goals in the last five league games and is 2/5 to score anytime. The Argentinian is 9/4 to score the first goal, 27/20 to score a brace, and 17/4 to net a hat-trick.
Luis Suarez has a good goal-scoring record against Espanyol, with four goals in the last two meetings, and he is 5/8 to score anytime.
Javier Mascherano scored his first ever Barcelona goal, from the penalty spot, in midweek, in what was his 319th appearance for the Catalan side. Although it’s probably unlikely he will find his name on the scoresheet in back to back matches, it could be worth a small wager at 11/1 for him to score anytime.
Barcelona have led at half time in 56% of their league matches this season and are 20/43 to lead at the break here. Back Barca HT/FT at 10/19 and they are also 5/8 to score in both halves.
Espanyol have failed to score against Barcelona in the last four meetings. It’s 5/6 for the away side to win to nil in this match.
The multi bet exact score market could provide the best value. Barca’s last four victories at Espanyol have been 2-0 (three times) and 1-0 (once). Therefore, a multi bet on Barcelona to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 could be a great bet at odds of 23/20.
Top Betting Tip
Our top tip for this match is Barcelona to score in both halves, priced at 5/8 with NetBet. They have a lot to play for and will look to assert their authority throughout the match, not only to win the game but also to send a message to their championship rivals.
Lionel Messi to score at any time during the 90 minutes (2/5) is also impossible to overlook with his recent form in front of goal.