Our football match prediction:
Barcelona will be aiming to overcome a one-goal deficit in the Copa del Rey tie with their local rivals Espanyol when the two teams face each other at Camp Nou on Thursday evening. Barca misses several clear-cut chances to score in the first leg, but coach Ernesto Valverde mixed the squad against los Periquitos and that is the main reason why the Catalan giants failed to grab something from the game. The former Athletic Bilbao boss is likely to field the best possible side this time out and we predict Leo Messi and Co. will make it to the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup. Espanyol are tough to beat at home, but their away record is anything but good and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Barca’s party at Camp Nou. Luis Suarez should return to the starting line-up for the hosts and, taking everything into account, Barca are likely to emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match.
Highlighted Player (Gerard Pique):
Gerard Pique is a Spanish footballer who was born in Barcelona on 2 February, 1987. He is married to famous Colombian singer Shakira and they have two sons Milan and Sasha. Pique is a product of La Masia, the Barca’s youth academy, but he started his senior career at Manchester United. He returned to his boyhood club in 2008 and he has been playing for the Catalan giants ever since. The 193-cm-tall footballer is a centre back who is good in the air. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing a defensive midfielder if needed. Pique won his sixth La Liga trophy with Barca in the 2015/2016 season and in 2008 he has three Champions League titles with the Catalan giants as well. During his spell with Manchester United, Gerard Pique won the Premier League trophy (2007/2008) and he helped the Red Devils win the Champions League trophy the same season. Speaking of his international career, the Barcelona defender won the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain, while lifting the European Championship trophy two years later.
Highlighted Team (Espanyol):
Espanyol are a Catalan club that plays in Spanish La Liga. Espanyol were founded in 1900 and their original name was Sociedad Espanola de Football. In 1901 the Catalan club changed its name to Club Espanol de Futbol. Los Periquitos used to play in bright yellow shirts in the past, but current colour of the team’s home kit is blue and white. Espanyol’s fiercest rivals are Barcelona and the two teams face each other in the Catalan derby (Derbi barceloni). Espanyol have always been in Barca’s shadow, but it has to be noted that los Periquitos have won four Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup trophies). The likes of Raul Tamudo, Jose Maria, Antonio Argiles and Mauricio Pochettino are players with most appearances for the Catalan outfit. Espanyol play their home games at Estadio Cornella-El Prat and the capacity of the stadium is 40,500. Los Periquitos have never participated in the Champions League.