La Liga Soccer Picks: League Leaders Barcelona to Win Crucial Catalan Derby Against Espanyol

Lee Phelps

Thursday, April 23, 2015 10:23 PM GMT

There is no rest for Barcelona. Fresh from becoming Champions League favourites they have to set about keeping Real Madrid away from top of La Liga. William Hill's Lee Phelps is weighing up the odds for his free betting pick.

The new Champions League favourites have work to do on the home front with a two point lead to protect at the top of the La Liga table, as their quest for an amazing treble continues. They face an Espanyol time slap bang in the middle of the table.

 

Espanyol
It doesn’t sound good for the home team here, they are without a win in 11 league meetings with Barcelona, losing the last six in a row with just one goal scored in total. In fact, as La Liga odds makers know, Barca have won more games against Espanyol than any other side in their top-flight history (92).

On home soil, they have won just one of their last 12 derbies against this weekend’s opponents (D3 L8), failing to score more than once in any of the 11 they didn’t win.

The recent form is better, with Los Pericos unbeaten in six league games (W2 D4); they have not gone six without defeat on the soccer odds since February 2012.

One thing to note (although there is no betting at the time of writing) is the disciplinary difference between the two sides. While Barca have committed the fewest fouls, with 332, only Sevilla (532) have conceded more than Espanyol (521).

 

Barcelona
Luis Enrique’s side are currently unbeaten in eight; their longest run since the first eight games of the season (both W7 D1).

Lionel Messi has scored just two goals in eight away games against Espanyol; his worst goals per game ratio against a side he has visited more than once.

The draw at Sevilla, having been two goals up, was the first time Messi and Co have dropped points on the road since January 4th. Those two goals they let in account for a fifth of their total conceded all season. I expect them to go back to that stingy form and get a win here.

 

Soccer picks
The games at Eibar and Celta Vigo before that Sevilla draw were along the lines of what I’m looking at here for my soccer picks, controlled, low scoring.

Free Soccer Pick: Barcelona win and under 2.5 goals 3.75 (11/4)

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