Barcelona title credential will be put under scrutiny as the team host Valencia without Lionel Messi, in Saturday’s Spanish League at the Camp Nou.
The Catalans are currently eighth in the table on four points, while Valencia, who have just appointed Albert Celades as their new head coach, have the same record after three games.
Barca have been in indifferent form in their title defence this season and would come into the clash having failed to pick up a victory against Osasuna last time out, playing out a 2-2 draw with the newly-promoted side at the El Sadar stadium.
Lionel Messi is once again out for Barca, with the Camp Nou talisman still struggling with a calf injury. Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umiti are also out for the Blaugrana.
Head to head record
Valencia got the better of Barcelona in their last meeting, defeating the Catalans 2-1 in the Copa del Rey to win their first trophy in 11 years.
Barcelona have the edge in the last 10 fixtures played between both sides in all competitions, winning five and drawing three.
Total matches played – 63
Barcelona wins – 32
Valencia wins – 14
Draws – 17
Possible Line Up
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Rakitic; Perez, L Suarez, Griezmann
Valencia: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Diakhaby, Gaya; Guedes, Coquelin, Parejo, Torres; Moreno, Gameiro
On paper, Barcelona could pick the maximum points at home, however, Valencia has what it takes to pull an upset if the Catalans fail to take their chances. To be on a safer side, it would be ideal to say Barcelona win or draw U-4.5.