The complete team news from Barcelona’s trip to the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday.
Barcelona travel to Valencia on Saturday for their ninth league game of the season, with the hosts, now under new manager Cesare Prandelli, lying lowly at the 15th spot while the visitors are fourth, two points behind leader Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona come into the game on the back of a thumping 4-0 victory over Manchester City in their Champions League group-stage tie. However, they came out worse from the contest in terms of casualties as defender Jordi Alba and Gerard Alba had to be withdrawn in the first half itself after sustaining injuries.
Jordi Alba, who had just recovered from a muscle related set-back suffered during the international break, suffered a relapse of the injury and had to be taken off within the first 10 mins.
The loss that will affect the team the most is that of Gerard Pique, who couldn’t continue after a rash challenge from behind by his international teammate, David Silva. Barcelona have confirmed Alba will be out for two weeks while it will take around 3 weeks for Pique to recover completely.
Arda Turan suffered a knock on Friday’s training session in the buildup to the game, which rules him out of the tie as well.
Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen continues to nurse his sprained ankle but should be back by early November.
In a more positive news, Sergi Roberto, who has been a revelation at his new position of a full-back, has a chance of making it to the playing XI at the Mestalla stadium after regaining fitness from a injury suffered while on international duty.
Confirmed Barcelona squad for Saturday:
Ter Stegen, Masip, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti, Mathieu and Aleñá.
In comparison, Valencia has a relatively injury free squad which should delight their new manager Cesare Prandelli.
Former Manchester United winger Luis Nani has recovered from his minor muscle injury and has been ruled fit to feature against Barcelona.
Brazilian Guilherme Siqueira is out for the game as he continues to recover from his muscle problem.
Valencia’s squad for Saturday:
Diego Alves, Ryan, Domenech; Cancelo, Montoya, Santos, Mangala, Garay, Gaya, Abdennour; Perez, Parejo, Medran, Mario Suarez, Cartabia; Santa Mina, Munir, Bakkali, Rodrigo, Nani.