SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

Camp Nou, Spain

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Barcelona

  • Alexis Sánchez 68'

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Casilla: Espanyol have no fear

The odds may be stacked firmly against Espanyol taking anything positive from their derby meeting with Barcelona but goalkeeper Kiko Casilla insists his team-mates arrive at the Nou Camp without fear.

Espanyol have taken a single point from their city rivals in six meetings, scoring only twice while conceding 18 goals.

And while Javier Aguirre's men struggle to rectify a current run of four defeats in six games, his opposite number Gerardo Martino has been charged with securing a 21st consecutive home league win for Barca.

Friday night's game offers the reigning champions the opportunity to pull seven points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid for several hours at least - should they win - while Espanyol would be 19 points off the pace in eighth.

Casilla understands he will have a busy night in Les Corts but claims he is not scared of facing the Barca trio of Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi and Neymar, who have scored 17 goals between them so far.

He said: "We all know how important the derby with Barcelona is. We will go to Camp Nou and try to go all out.

"We'll have to play with intensity and try to stay focused for the entire 90 minutes.

"I have total respect for all their top players, but none of them frighten me. If you're scared, you should just stay at home."

Espanyol ended Atletico's unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 home win two weeks ago, a victory that punctuated a run of four poor defeats.

"The numbers are there for us to see but we can't stop and think about them now," Casilla added.

"The results have not been as good recently but when we beat Atletico everyone said we were the best.

"I'm staying calm because I know we know what we're doing. People shouldn't throw stones at the team."

Espanyol midfielder David Lopez had expected to miss the derby after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in a goalless draw with Malaga, but the punishment will not become effective until Sevilla visit El Prat on November 10.

Barca, meanwhile, are expected to be without winger Adriano, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, although the club this week confirmed the Brazilian had not seriously damaged the muscle.

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