Match in Focus: Valencia vs Barcelona Preview

After a difficult couple of weeks for Ernesto Valverde’s side, they will look to carry their Champions League form to their trip to the Mestalla to face a struggling Valencia. Both sides were in England for European duty during midweek and showcased what they are capable of both offensively and defensively.

Sunday 7th October, 19:45 GMT Kick Off

 

Form Guide:

Valencia last five games – D D D D W

The hosts picked up their first La Liga win of the season at Anoeta last Saturday after an uninspiring start left them loitering near the relegation zone. However, taking draws into account, Los Che are unbeaten in their last five league games since a 2-0 loss at Espanyol in August. With three clean sheets in their last four games, the Valencia backline is a sturdy structure to get through.

Barcelona last five games – W W D L D

The ‘blaugrana’ flew out of the blocks in the early weeks of the La Liga season before draws against Girona and Athletic sandwiched a dismal defeat at Leganes. Barça are the league’s top scorers and have scored in each of their league games this campaign, so pitting them up against Valencia’s tough defence should provide a fascinating watch.

 

Head to Head:

Valencia have not managed to beat Barcelona at home for over 10 years. Goals from Angulo and David Silva provided their last victory over their Catalan counterparts in 2007 with Barcelona unbeaten in their last 11 visits.

Last season’s Mestalla encounter ended in a 1-1 draw as former Valencia left back, Jordi Alba, rescued a point for a Barcelona side aspiring to go the whole season unbeaten.

In terms of the history of this fixture, Barcelona’s 27 wins are far superior to Valencia’s 11 in La Liga, which is not a good omen for Marcelino’s side.

 

Ones to Watch:

Valencia have struggled for goals so far this season, with no member of their squad managing more than one. A solid defensive display from the likes of Gabriel and Neto in goal will be crucial to the home side getting anything out of this game.

Luis Suarez has two goals in his last three league games against Valencia but has failed to find the net in his last five outings in all competitions. His attacking teammate, Munir, who found the net in Barcelona’s draw with Athletic last week, will go up against the club he spent a season on loan at during the 2016/17 season. Anyone will do well to outshine Lionel Messi, however.

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