La Liga: Valencia vs Barcelona preview


Valencia will be looking to continue their recent revival but they will face a difficult task on Saturday as they host reigning champions Barcelona. Last season Valencia avoided defeat against Barcelona in LaLiga, they won 2-1 at Camp Nou and drew 1-1 at home, but in the Copa del Rey they got hammered 8-1 on aggregate, with a 7-0 defeat suffered in Catalonia.

Valencia started the season with four consecutive defeats, a streak that led to the dismissal of head coach Pako Ayestaran. Salvador Gonzalez "Voro" took over as interim head coach and he managed to steady the ship, recording three wins and just one defeat in the following four matches. Guilherme Siqueira is the only injury doubt for Voro ahead of Saturday's match.

Barcelona have recovered from the 4-3 defeat at Celta Vigo ahead of the international break with two 4-0 victories in the space of just a few days, first against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga and then against former head coach Pep Guardiola in the Champions League. Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick in the match against Manchester City, signalling his return to full match fitness following his injury. However, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba picked up knocks against the Citizens and will both be out for a few weeks.

Probable line-ups:

Valencia: Alves - Montoya, Mangala, Garay, Gaya - Suarez, Perez - Cancelo, Parejo, Nani - Rodrigo

Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne - Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta - Messi, Suarez, Neymar

My prediction: Barcelona to win 4-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Valencia win - 7.00
Draw - 4.75
Barcelona win - 1.44

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