Xavi Hernandez will finally take the reins at FC Barcelona officially on Saturday when they face Espanyol in the Catalan Derby. The match will be played at the Camp Nou, and the new Barca coach is calling on the club's supporters to come in force to support the players.
It's a crucial match for Barcelona, with both clubs tied at 17 points in La Liga. Barcelona is historically the stronger team, but their results this season have made this match impossible to predict. Not only is it a match against their city rivals, the Blaugrana are also playing with a new manager for the first time, and Xavi will be desperate to kick off his tenure with a positive result.
Barcelona have only won four out of 12 games in La Liga under previous manager Ronald Koeman, and Xavi has been called upon to turn things around. There is an air of hope surrounding the Camp Nou, but a defeat on Saturday will be massively devastating.
They will be giving everything for a victory, and Xavi hopes a full stadium can help boost the players.
"We need our people. We need them to cheer, and to give everything. We're going to give ourselves, we're going to give everything. We're not going to be lacking in terms of attitude," said Xavi ahead of the match in a press conference.
"I assure you that we're going to give everything and we need them. We have to be together. If they're as dedicated as they were during my presentation, that's enough for me."
He then went on to explain that playing against Espanyol is extra special for the homegrown players. "It's going to be complicated. [The fact that it's Espanyol] is an extra. This is a derby and that motivates us. We've played them since we were children and they're special games. It's just a special game, especially for the local lads," he said.