The Xavi Hernandez era begins in earnest at the weekend, and what better way to start than with the Catalan derby against local rivals Espanyol.
It’s unlikely to prove to be as easy a match as it has been in previous years given that the form of the respective teams arguably sees the Periquitos better placed than the Blaugranes.
Barca sit a couple of places above Espanyol, but only by virtue of goal difference. Both are on 17 points and the visitors to Camp Nou on Saturday have a better record over the last five games this season than their hosts.
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Since Xavi’s appointment, however, the feel good factor has returned, and so a capacity crowd might be expected.
Messi, Xavi and Iniesta
However, news that president, Joan Laporta, isn’t ruling out a return for former players Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi is just fanciful nonsense.
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It’s propaganda of the highest order, no doubt designed to capitalise on the feeling around the stadium and the city.
Barcelona have no money, and Laporta has shown with such statements that he has no class.