Madrid: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is expecting the city derby away to local rivals Espanyol to be a testing 90 minutes for his side. Barca are placed second in the La Liga and cannot afford any slip-ups if they want to keep pace with leaders Real Madrid.
Guardiola, at a press conference, confirmed the inclusion of star midfielder Andres Iniesta who seems to have recovered from a muscle injury and then spoke about the Sunday game against an Espanyol team that is eighth in the table.
"There has been one thing in common in all of the games we have played and that is they have come out and put pressure on us high up the field. I always underline this game on the calendar as one of the most difficult games of the season and Sunday will be no different," said Guardiola.
"We will suffer if we don't play well. Espanyol are a very good side, they bring the ball out well from the back and have a lot of depth on the wings. Also both clubs have similar ideas and both of us use players from our youth teams. We have more money, but as institutions, we both have similar ideas," added the Barca coach.
Guardiola also had words of praise for Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino, who is now in his fourth season at the club.
"He keeps the same idea. He is a coach at a team that has to sell players every season, but nevertheless it is a side that is easily recognizable. His ideas are the most important thing," said Guardiola, who concluded by saying that the atmosphere created by 40,000 Espanyol fans in the Cornella-El Prat Stadium would be " another test" for his side.