Football: Barcelona can come out on top in derby clash

There are two big derbies in Europe this weekend, with Rome and Barcelona playing host to two important rivalries.

Espanyol host neighbours Barcelona in Spain, and fierce rivals Roma and Lazio meet in the Stadio Olimpico in Italy’s Serie A.

Here’s our tipster’s thoughts on how you can #betbigwinbig on the matches this weekend.

Meeting for the second time in April, Lazio could be set to add insult to injury in this Serie A clash, after they knocked Roma out of the Coppa Italia earlier this month.

Lazio won 4-3 on aggregate to reach their third final in five years and have the momentum to do potentially irreparable damage to their stadium sharers’ title hopes.

Drifting eight points behind top-of-the-table Juventus, Roma will be determined to narrow the gap and prevent the Old Lady from winning six straight league titles.

Lazio have added incentive going into the match as they look to close a gap of their own in their pursuit of Champions League football. The new ruling that grants the top four Serie A teams automatic qualification does not come into effect until 2018, thus fourth-placed Lazio have five games to make up on Napoli to clinch third spot.

I do not expect clean sheets on the night, with Roma boasting Serie A’s joint top scorer Edin Dzeko (25) but having taken 35 games to notch up his tally, Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has a better return rate with 20 goals in 23 matches across all competitions this season.

I like the 3.86 with for a draw on the night on what should be a closely fought encounter.

Espanyol have taken four points from their last three league games, whereas Barca have produced nine, including an enthralling 3-2 win over Real Madrid last week.

Although level on points at the top of the La Liga table, Luis Enrique’s side have played a game more than Real and cannot afford to slip up as they look to pip Los Blancos to the title for the third year running.

I am confident Espanyol will prove easy pickings for Barca, with the ninth-placed side having nothing left to play for this season.

After thrashing Osasuna 7-1 in midweek, Barcelona are now the first team across Europe’s top five leagues to have scored over 100 league goals this season.

Barca are overwhelming favourites at 1.29 with and I think it is hard to see any other result than the away win.

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