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.
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.
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