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FC Barcelona would be facing their first do-or-die situation of the 2017-18 season when they face Espanyol at the Camp Nou in the 2nd Leg of Copa Del Rey tie.


Lionel Messi would be instrumental for Barca in their second leg tie against Espanyol in Copa Del Rey

FC Barcelona would be facing their first do-or-die situation of the 2017-18 season when they face Espanyol at the Camp Nou in the 2nd Leg of Copa Del Rey tie. Last mid-week Espanyol condemned Barca to their first defeat of the season when they won 1-0 at their home. In normal circumstances a 1-0 deficit won't be much of a problem for Barca especially at home; but such has been this mid-week that everyone is worried about Barca becoming the third biggest upset! Last night against every expectation Real Madrid lost to Leganés at their very home and got themselves eliminated on away goal after leading the first leg 1-0. Now Real Madrid has joined their city rivals Atletico who was eliminated by Sevilla a day ago.




The test of character is having the ability to meet challenges.Walter Annenberg

Barca expected to go full strength against Espanyol tonight


FC Barcelona would be hoping that they would be able to recreate the same magic against Espanyol this time around like when they visited Camp Nou early this season. That match ended with Barca winning comfortably 5-0 with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick. The same Messi would have to be in top form if Barca needs to avoid the fate of Atletico and Real Madrid tonight. The tactics for the game from Espanyol would be simple - they will most probably go for an ultra defensive approach especially after losing to Sevila in weekend at home. They may not take any chances by trying to be offensive.


Will Coutinho get to make his debut for Barca Tonight?


FC Barcelona fans would be eagerly waiting to see whether they get to see Coutinho play tonight. Valverde has created the same expectation by including both the new players - Coutinho and Yerry Mina in the squad for clash against Espanyol. Iniesta who has recently returned form injury is also in the squad. Considering the importance of the match tonight there is a high chance Valverde starting with Iniesta in midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.


A 4-4-2 will bring in Paulinho as an automatic selection and the choice in midfield will be between Rakitic and Roberto. Despite Semedo doing brilliantly in weekend expect Roberto to go back to right back role. That means we will have the midfield of Iniesta, Busquets, Paulinho and Rakitic.The front two will be without any doubt the duo of Messi and Saurez and all hopes will be on them to repeat what they did in weekend. The defense should see Alba, Pique, Umtiti and Roberto in front of of Cillessen.


This won't be an easy game by any means and if we under-estimate the opponent we may end up like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Much will depend on whether Barca will be able to find an early goal; if that happens then Espanyol could be overrun with in a matter of minutes. But if Espanyol manages to hold Barca goalless or even worse score one, we may see pressure building up. This match will be the first real test for Barca this season as we start on the back foot in this match. That shouldn't be a problem if Barca plays to their true strength.

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