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The Three Wise Men have been generous this year. To celebrate their day on 6th January they’ve given us a Barça v Espanyol derby game that will test both teams’ run of good form. On the one hand, Barça will be looking for their eleventh consecutive league win of the season and so start the New Year in the same fashion that they saw out 2012 – winning. On the other hand, Espanyol will be hoping to prolong a season best run of four games without tasting defeat, a run that has coincided with the arrival of Mexican boss Javier Aguirre.
22 players available
FC Barcelona have 22 players available for the derby – that’s the whole squad except for Muniesa, Cuenca and Abidal – so four players will have to be ruled out before the game, the first of 2013 in the Camp Nou. The Club has a good record in the opening game of the year in recent times and the players will be determined to maintain that form.
Espanyol in the drop zone
Espanyol have put together a four match unbeaten run since Javier Aguirre took over – including a 2-2 draw in the Bernabeu in the middle of December - and currently lie 18th in the table. Since the experienced Mexican manager was brought in, the team has rebounded back from a disastrous start to the season and is now within a whisker of climbing out of the relegation zone. Both teams will be hoping the Three Wise Men will bring them the best possible gift – the three points.
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