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Verdú, upbeat on Espanyol's chances ahead of the Catalan derby

The ex-Culé has faith that the Periquitos can pull a surprise and become the first side to beat Barça this season.


Joan Verdú is confident that Espanyol can emerge triumphant at Camp Nou on Sunday but to achieve that, he says, the whole team must be completely convinced that they can beat their cross-town rivals.

"We believe that we can win the derby and that is how we should approach this match", the midfielder told reporters in Friday's press conference. "We know that it will be very difficult - just for the kind of opponents Barça are but we will be trying to make the most of our own strengths and virtues on Sunday night".

Verdú hopes that Espanyol can become the first side to score a win over Tito Vilanova's team this season and cited last month's draw at the Bernabéu as a measure of the team's possibilities. "We will be up against the best players in the world but they will need to compete and prove that they are superior to us," he said. "Against Real Madrid, everybody thought we had no chance but we worked hard in the build-up to that match, kept quiet and managed to take a point from the game. We have to make sure that Barça don't feel comfortable on the ball, we must interrupt the rhythm of their game".

Javier Aguirre's team must also ignore potential jeers from the stands about their precarious position in the table - third from bottom. "That's something which I don't like hearing," Verdú continued, "I heard chants about being relegated even when I wasn't here at Espanyol and to be honest, it makes me feel quite angry because we are two teams from the same city. And besides, whatever people say, we won't be going down to the Liga Adelante, I am absolutely sure of that".

Estadísticas AS.com