Nov 1, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
1-0
Espanyol
Sanchez (68')
Mascherano (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rafael Fuentes (45'), Sanchez (67'), Lanzarote (90')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Espanyol

Neymar celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on October 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona will attempt to make it 11 wins from 12 La Liga matches this season when they welcome an out-of-form Espanyol side to the Camp Nou on Friday.

The Catalan outfit moved onto 31 points for the season with a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo on Tuesday evening, meaning that they currently sit four points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid and nine clear of third-place Real Madrid, albeit having played one game more than the capital duo.

Espanyol, meanwhile, started the season in impressive fashion, but have struggled in recent weeks. Javier Aguirre's side have taken just four points from their last six matches, with a total of 15 points leaving them in eighth position in the table.

Espanyol will not have fond memories of their trip to the Camp Nou last season, with the visit to their rivals ending in a 4-0 loss. Barcelona have won four of the last five games between the two sides, scoring 13 times in the process and conceding just once.

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino is expected to recall Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Xavi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta to his starting XI after all five sat out the win over Celta Vigo.

Brazilian defender Adriano is a doubt with a thigh injury, however, after limping out of the match on Tuesday. Jordi Alba is also on the sidelines, meaning that versatile defender Martin Montoya could switch to left-back.

Cesc Fabregas is also expected to keep his place in the team after scoring twice last time out, with Alexis Sanchez and Pedro both starting on the bench at the Camp Nou.

Espanyol, meanwhile, could hand a start to Thievy Bifouma after the Frenchman impressed in the 0-0 draw against Malaga on Tuesday. Diego Colotto could also come into the XI in defence, but pacey striker Jhon Cordoba is struggling with a muscular complaint.

Recent form

Barcelona: WDDWW

Espanyol: LLWLD

Possible lineups

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Montoya; Busquets, Fabregas, Xavi; Iniesta, Messi, Neymar

Espanyol: Casilla; Colotto, Moreno, Sidnei, Fuentes; Sanchez, Lopez, Simao; Stuani, Garcia, Bifouma

Sports Mole says: 3-0

Gerard Pique and Cristiano Ronaldo exchange views during the Copa del Rey semi-final in February 2013.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona55001721515
2Sevilla431061510
3Valencia52309369
4Real Sociedad430111749
5Real Madrid42209458
6Atletico MadridAtletico42208358
7Athletic Bilbao42113127
8Villarreal42026516
9Levante41305416
10Leganes42023306
11Las PalmasLas Palmas420257-26
12Real Betis420257-26
13EibarEibar5203310-76
14Getafe411234-14
15GironaGirona411235-24
16Espanyol411238-54
17Celta Vigo410357-23
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo4013511-61
19AlavesAlaves400407-70
20Malaga5005111-100
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