Espanyol vs Barcelona live score and goal updates from La Liga as leaders take on Catalan rivals

Valverde not worried about atmosphere

Barcelona can expect an intimidating atmosphere at the home of their rivals, with tensions having risen further still during the recent cup clashes.

Espanyol having beaten Barca 1-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final last month before their bigger neighbours overturned the result in the second tie.

But Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is not worried about the fans.

He said: “A lot of noise is made about a lot of things, and then the fans are normal.

“They said similar things about Atletico and Real Madrid, grounds where very hostile atmospheres were expected, the same as the cup first leg against Espanyol.

“But beyond the tension of the rivalry, it was a normal game and I’m expecting the same (tomorrow).

“The game will be tough because of our opponents and because it’s derby, not because of anything else.

“These games are special and you also play a little bit with the heart as well.”

Barca’s big-money summer signing Ousmane Dembele has back in training after injury but Sunday’s game comes too soon for him, while Andre Gomes and Thomas Vermaelen are also missing.

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