Spanish champions FC Barcelona will look to get their stuttering La Liga campaign on track when they entertain a rejuvenated Valencia side at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Barcelona capped off a miserable fortnight on Wednesday after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of fellow Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon which sent them crashing out Europe. After Real Madrid’s 5-1 thumping of Getafe last night, Barcelona’s lead at the top of the league table has been cut to a single point; their lead was 10 points a month ago.
Valencia, on the other hand, staved off relegation fears after securing a crucial 2-1 win over Sevilla at the Mesatalla last time out. They head into Sunday’s clash knowing well that a positive result against the Catalan giants will virtually seal their status as a top flight club next season.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Bravo; Vidal, Pique, Bartra, Alba; Mascherano, Roberto, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.
Possible Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Alves; Barragan, Mustafi, Abdennour, Gaya; Fuego, Gomes; Mina, Parejo, Rodrigo; Alcacer.
- Barcelona have won 9 of their last 10 home matches against Valencia in all competitions.
- Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of their last 10 home matches against Valencia in all competitions.
- Barcelona were also 2-0 winners in the corresponding league match last season, but Valencia have won at Camp Nou in the league as recently as February 2014 – when they recorded a 3-2 success.
- Valencia have won just one of their last 17 games against Barcelona.
- The Catalans have not lose three league games in a row since February 2003.
Barcelona 3-1 Valencia
Luis Enrique’s men will look to put a miserable fortnight behind them and get back to winning ways against a stuttering Valencia side. Like their Catalan opponents, Los Che aren’t in the best form either after notching up only their first win in 5 La Liga matches last week.
Given Barcelona’s current form, we are unlikely to get a repeat of their 7-0 demolition of Valencia earlier in the season in the Copa Del Rey. However, a wounded Barcelona are expected to ease past Gary Neville’s former club and get their La Liga campaign back on track.
- Barcelona: 3/20
- Draw: 7
- Valencia: 18