A mouthwatering local derby is set on the cards in Spanish football on Wednesday January 17 in the Copa del Rey competition. Barcelona take on Espanyol in the first leg match of their Spanish Cup quarter-finals.
The Barcelonian derby, locally referred to as the derbi barceloní, is a very important fixture in Spanish football.
Espanyol may not be that big a name in the Spanish football top tier at the moment but this match is nothing short of a Madrid Derby, a Merseyside Derby, a Manchester derby or even the Kolkata derby featuring East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
You can therefore expect a lot of bad blood over the 180 minutes of the match that will be played from the two legged affair.
The highest scorer in the history of the derbi barceloní, Lionel Messi is set to play a part in the fixture and Barca coach Ernesto Valverde is not expected not to field his best players.
Too bad, the likes of Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Umtiti as well as record signings Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho will not play any part owing to their respective injuries.
"I see Espanyol in great form and their stats confirm that after recent results in the league and after coming back in the last round of the Copa against Levante," said Ernesto ahead of the match. "As well, they will try to take advantage of playing at home."
Espanyol, meanwhile, are gearing up for the tough task at home.
"It's all about motivation. Games against Barça generate an energy that we must use to our good on the field," said Quique Sánchez Flores, Espanyol coach.
"Espanyol have never beaten Barça in Cornellà but a win is what every coach and every player has wanted ... If there is any team that can make a difference by playing as unit then that team is Espanyol."
Espanyol vs Barcelona
Date: January 17
Time: 8 pm GMT, 1:30 am IST - Thursday
Venue: RCDE Stadium, Barcelona
TV listings: Not available (India, UK), beIN Sports, fuboTV (USA), beIN La Liga (Spain)
Live stream: beIN Sports Connect (USA), beIN Sports Connect Espana (Spain)
Radio commentary: Radio Barca
Live scores: Twitter (worldwide)