Luis Suarez
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is the top scorer in La Liga this season with 15 goalsReuters

Barcelona will look to consolidate their lead at the top of the La Liga table when they face local rivals Espanyol at the Cornella-El Prat on 2 January.

Where to watch

Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. The game is not scheduled for live broadcast in the UK.

Overview

Thirteenth-placed Espanyol have won only two of their last seven games in all competitions, but are on a five-match unbeaten run at home. The Catalan club have lost their last seven encounters against Barcelona, with their last win in this fixture coming in February 2009.

The home side welcome back midfielder Pape Diop from suspension, but Victor Sanchez and Jose Canas are both out after picking up knocks in the Sevilla game.

Barcelona returned to winning ways in La Liga with a 4-0 victory over Real Betis at the Nou Camp on 30 December. The Catalan giants are level on points with second-placed Atletico Madrid in the La Liga table but have a game in hand.

Barca boss Luis Enrique has no fresh injury concerns. Brazilian defender Douglas has made a full recovery from the foot injury that has sidelined him for two months and is available to play at the Cornella El-Prat.

What managers say

Constantin Galca: "I have no fear of defeat. Barcelona certainly is a good team but we will fight to impose our game on them. We know how important a derby game this is for us."

Luis Enrique: "We know how difficult it is to win again after having won trophies, but these players never get tired of winning. Our objective is to keep competing, improve certain aspects of our game and come to the end of the season with a chance of winning everything. The derby is always a special game and for any Barca player it is nice to beat the city rivals and that will never change."

Form guide

  • Espanyol (all competitions): LWWLD
  • Last result: Sevilla 2-0 Espanyol
  • Barcelona (all competitions): WWWDD
  • Last result: Barcelona 4-0 Real Betis

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Espanyol win: 14
  • Draw: 25/4
  • Barcelona win: 1/5

Team news

Espanyol possible XI: P Lopez; J Lopez, Gonzalez, Roco, Duarte; Jordan, Diop; Asensio, Sevilla, Perez; Caicedo

Barcelona possible XI: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar