The three consecutive draws that Barcelona suffered has a huge impact in their title ambitions.
It gave their closest rival, Real Madrid a comfortable six-point lead, which, if not immediately addressed, might just prevent them from defending their silverware.
But it is a good thing that they were able to return to their winning ways in their last match.
The club snatched an emphatic 0-3 win over the rock bottom Osassuna. But there is no guarantee that they will be able to do the same against their city rival, Espanyol.
The visitor has readily improved this season. They are undefeated in their last nine matches and was even able to keep four clean sheets. Indeed, they are no longer a mere push-over that can be easily dominated. As a matter of fact, they sport a better form than Barcelona.
Espanyol won four of their last six matches, whilst the other two ended in a draw. Barca, on the other hand, has only secured three wins and the remaining three resulted in an even steven finish.
Due to this, there is a high possibility that the first half will give a 1-1 (12.52). Espanyol will not take this match lightly and since this is a derby, it is less likely for them to wave the white flag immediateely.
However, despite the grit that Espanyol shows, the possibility of Barcelona snatching the upper hand in this match is high.
Barca dominated four of their last five matches and the best result that they were able to deliver was a scoreless stalemate.
Date: 18 December 2016
Venue: Camp Nou