A derby is always a match in which the stakes are high. It doesn't matter the dynamic with which each team arrives or the players on the pitch. The mystique of a clash between two teams from the same city evens things up to the point where there are more surprises than one would expect on the basis of logic.
However, when Espanyol and Barca meet on Matchday 34 of LaLiga, both will have to keep a closer eye on the standings than ever, especially on the Perico side, where they are in the relegation places and can't afford any mistakes.
On the other side of the coin is Barcelona. Xavi Hernandez's (43) men would seal their league title with victory. In fact, they could be champions if Real Madrid and Atletico, who play first, lose their respective matches.
The latter could be Espanyol's favoured scenario. They host a Barca side who are under no obligation to win and who can relax a little because they know they are champions without needing the three points at the RCDE Stadium.
Revenge for the Tamudazo
On the other hand, the Cule side have the opportunity to push their neighbours a little deeper into the pit. The Blue and Whites are 19th in the table and are three points adrift of safety with 15 points to play for. A defeat in the derby could almost definitely condemn them to the Second Division, depending on the results of the teams above them.
As if that were not enough, to this incentive of condemning them to hell must be added the thirst for revenge for the 'Tamudazo' of June 9th 2007, when the Pericos deprived Barça of winning the league with a last-minute goal and gifted the title to Real Madrid.
Cornellá will experience a duel of contrasts in which they could see their arch-rivals emerge triumphant from their stadium while their own side move a little further away from the top flight. The distance between heaven and hell is 90 minutes, which of the two will go first?