|Valencia vs Barça – Match Preview
After a fine 4-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday, FC Barcelona will be looking to get all three points in their ninth game of the 2016/2017 La Liga season when they travel to the Mestalla to take on Valencia in an encounter that promises to be a fascinating one.
Valencia didn’t start the season quite well and may not be in their best of forms, but they’ve found redemption under new coach Cesare Prandelli and have won three of their last four matches in the league with their only loss coming against Atletico Madrid.
Barça know they will be facing a tough task on Saturday afternoon, the Catalans failed to get a win over Valencia in both games last season, playing out a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla and surprisingly losing out 2-1 at the Camp Nou. However, they got an 8-1 aggregate win over their opponents but still played out a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla, winning 7-0 at Camp Nou.
The game will see the return of new Barça signings Paco Alcácer and André Gomes to their previous clubs while Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba will also face the club they joined Barça from. Valencia striker Munir El Haddadi will also return to Barça were he joined from last summer.
Luis Enrique will be devastated after getting the news that starters Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba will be out for three weeks and two weeks respectively after both players picked up injuries in Barcelona’s 4-0 UCL win over Manchester City on Wednesday night, Lucas Digne is set to deputise for the latter at left-back. The Catalans are still without second choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen which means Jordi Masip will make the team for the game.
Sergi Roberto didn’t pass fit to feature in Barça’s win over Man City but is set to make a return to the starting lineup against Valencia.
VALENCIA VS BARCELONA
Date: Saturday, 22 October, 2016
Time: 4:15pm CET
Venue: Mestalla, Valencia
Referee: Undiano Mallenco
PREVIOUS FIVE MEETINGS
Barcelona 1-2 Valencia
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 7-0 Valencia
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-0 Valencia
Predicted Valencia Lineup: Diego Alves; João Canceló, Eliaquim Mangala, Ezequiel Garay, Jose Luis Gaya; Mario Suarez, Enzo Perez; Dani Parejo, Santi Mina, Nani; Rodrigo.
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Marc Andre Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar
BarcaLens Prediction: It will be a very tough game. Barça failed two win their last two games at the Mestalla, but it’s expected this will be a different story. The morale from the win against Man City might play a role – Valencia 1-2 Barcelona.