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The last but game in the league programme takes Barça to the Cornellà-El Prat stadium for what looks like the least heated Barcelona derby in recent years. With the league title already confirmed, Barça will be playing for pride, honour and the challenge of reaching 100 points. However, Espanyol will be certain to put up a good fight as only a win will keep their hopes alive of a Europa League finish. Given the lack of urgency as far as the points are concerned for Barça, there’s been more focus on the reception of the league champions in the stadium of their historic cross-town rivals.
As for team news, Barça will be without Leo Messi, Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal through injury. The good news is that Alves and Adriano successfully came through Saturday’s training session and could make a return to action.
Barça has never lost in the new Cornellà-El Prat stadium. In three trips across town, they’ve come away with a win and two draws.
No problems for Espanyol
Espanyol will go into the game in a much better state than a few months back. Since Mexican manager Javier Aguirre took over, the club has gone from relegation certainties to dreaming of European football next season. They guaranteed topflight football for next season a few weeks ago but a place in the Europa league looks difficult.
Aguirre will be without Mexican international defender Héctor Moreno (injury) and midfielder Sergio Tejera (suspended) as well as defender Víctor Álvarez, who had heart surgery last Thursday. In goal, the Mexican has given the nod to Cristian Álvarez.
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