Liga Preview: Barcelona – Espanyol, Sunday 1pmEST, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Four. The magic number is four. It doesn’t matter that They Who Were Left Behind in the Semis are just five points back at the moment. Win tomorrow and it’s down to one solitary point. Win tomorrow and it’s Pochettino who is mumbling about UEFA conspiracies and referee decisions. And that’s just how I’d like it to be. Somewhere in the “We’ll show up tomorrow” Sevilla night there’s a team waiting to play a game, but for now, the other team that actually understood the kickoff hour is enjoying its pichichi status…and that cannot last!
Man the guns, arm the torpedoes, Defcon Periquito! It is time to make amends for last week. Real Sociedad may have beaten us at the Anoeta, but this is the Camp Nou and it is time to bring the Liga home. No, we won’t win it outright this week, but keeping our 8 point lead will make it possible to gently chide our merengue coworkers with not-so-subtle chants of “campeones caaaampeones oe oe oeeeeee campeones”.
And we can also point out that even at the Juvenil A level, we’re stompin’ on their white-clad posteriors. 3-1, sayeth the young ones and thank you very much for that tiny person “Copa de Campeones” trophy. Rafinha scored 2 of the 3 goals and totally showed up his older brother. Thiago is probably crying himself to sleep as we speak, what with his total inability to make a name for himself in the first team and all…
So, there are some hated cross-city rivals coming to town or something. I dunno. They’re like the little brother who gets under your skin and simply never admits that he isn’t good enough to compete on a regular basis. Oh wait, that’s me. My older brother always rolled his eyes and then leveraged his I’m fatter than a hippo nonsense on me in wrestling matches. Not fair! But that’s also sort of what we do to Espanyol. Here’s a completely fabricated statistic: we’ve beaten them every time we’ve ever played them and they’re looking for revenge. Remember that time we didn’t beat them and we didn’t win the league because we didn’t beat them? Me neither, it didn’t happen. Yay! But it does mean they’re the Washington Generals coming for our Harlem Globetrotter asses.
And we’d better be prepared. Pochettino is no slouch and neither are his boys. They’re not 8th for nothing. But who cares about them? Baby Bojan is back and maybe he’ll even play! Yay! And maybe Abidal will start! And maybe Iniesta will0–oh, he started last game. Right.
Predicted lineup: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, ABIDAL, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro
Official Prediction: 2-0 goals by Messi. Pichichi? Who cares. Liga champions? You got it.