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10.12.2009 18:11

"The derbies are always unpredictable games"

Vanessa Forns

Xavi Hernández believes that derby games against Espanyol are always unpredictable and that anything can happen when the two teams meet as he looked forward to the game at Camp Nou this weekend.

The Blanc i Blau visit Barça on Saturday for the enticing local encounter and the home team's star midfielder is looking forward to a game that he always believes is special. "There will be a lot of tension," he explained. "I know that they may not be in great form, but that will not mean a thing as anything can happen in these matches. Espanyol have been hurt and it will not be easy."

Treble triumph

Last season Espanyol won 1-2 in Camp Nou, but Xavi does not think that was remembered by many. "We do not have anything to avenge," he continued. "We lost other games too. But the only things we remember about last season are good. We may have lost that match but we won the treble and we hope to be able to play with eleven players this season," he added, in reference to Seydou Keita's red card last term."

De la Peña and Messi

Iván de la Peña is out and Lionel Messi could also miss the game leaving Xavi to rue that two stars may not participate. "Both teams will lose," he explained. "De la Peña creates the style for his team and has the best final pass in the world, while we will be losing the best player in the world in Messi."

Great confidence

2009-12-10_ENTRENO_03.JPG"The team goes into the game with great confidence and we know that we are playing good football," Xavi stated. "We are proud to have finished top of a difficult Champions League group in midweek from teams that are all champions of their domestic leagues. It was difficult at times, but the team has come good and our morale is high."

No preferences

"Who we play next in the Champions League is all the same to me," he continued. "We are prepared to face anyone. We will be given who we are given and we will go out to compete like we always do. What is important is that we have home advantage."

Three points

Barça head to Abu Dhabi after the game against Espanyol to play in the FIFA Club World Cup and Xavi thinks a win in the derby would be great. "At the moment we have a five-point lead at the top of the table, having played a game more," he said. "We must focus on ourselves though like usual and to win three points so that we can calmly go to the Club World Cup."
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)

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Sportsperson of the Year
Xavi Hernández was proud to have been named the Catalan Sportsperson of the Year by the Unió de Federacions Esportives de Catalunya and received his award on Thursday. "I am very proud and even more so to know that it was a unanimous decision," he stated.

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