MX23RW : Sunday, February 3 08:58:57
Feb 2, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance: 76,789
Messi (39' pen., 64')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Gameiro (24'), Parejo (32' pen.)

Preview: Barcelona vs. Valencia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's La Liga encounter between Barcelona and Valencia.

Barcelona head into Saturday's La Liga showdown with Valencia looking to build on their five-point advantage at the top of the standings.

Valencia make the trip to Camp Nou sitting in seventh place, while seven points have been recorded from their last three outings in Spain's top flight.


Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde pictured on November 24, 2018© Reuters

Barcelona have recorded eight successive wins to establish a clear lead at the top of the table, but Ernesto Valverde's side faced the prospect of being denied a shot at the treble in midweek when facing a two-goal deficit ahead of the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie with Sevilla.

Valverde has tended to rotate his squad for the cup competition, but the situation led to the Barca boss naming a stronger side for the reverse fixture and the performance suggested that the Catalan giants are motivated to win everything this season.

They had a bit of luck along the way with Sevilla missing a penalty - and the chance to go 3-1 up on aggregate - but going on to register a 6-1 triumph against the current fourth-best team in the league was a statement of intent.

Valverde would have been equally delighted that the goals were shared among five players and although Lionel Messi got on the scoresheet, this is far from a one-man team and they are building plenty of momentum.

There will continue to be concerns regarding the defence until avoidable goals are successfully kept out, but showing a ruthless streak in the final third will ease the pressure on Gerard Pique and his teammates.

Barcelona have been coping with a favourable league schedule since the start of December, but 23 goals have been recorded during that period and it is difficult to see anyone bringing the run to a halt anytime soon.

An injury to Ousmane Dembele has resulted in Philippe Coutinho being handed another opportunity in the team, but the Brazilian appears to be relishing the chance to silence the doubters as he continues to be linked with a move away from the club.

The playmaker will need to put together a prolonged period of good form in order to remain in the first XI, but two goals against Sevilla in midweek may be the start of the 26-year-old winning over Valverde in the long run.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW


Valencia manager Marcelino watches on during his side's Champions League clash with Juventus in September 2018© Reuters

Valencia have so far failed to match the level of performances and results that they produced on a consistent basis last season, but there are signs that Marcelino Garcia Toral's side are beginning to click into gear.

Back-to-back wins over Celta Vigo and Villarreal have led to the club improving their league position by a number of places, and the next target will be fifth spot with Alaves now only three points in front.

There will be an acknowledgement that achieving anything at Camp Nou this week will be regarded as a bonus, but that is not to say that Valencia can not cause a surprise against the in-form leaders.

The comeback triumph at Celta Vigo earlier in January was impressive given that Valencia had given up a lead the previous week, but the 3-0 victory against Villarreal last weekend equaled the club's biggest league win of the season.

Valencia had an issue with scoring goals earlier in the campaign, but they have now netted in nine of their last 10 La Liga outings with the only failure coming against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Daniel Parejo remains the top goalscorer with five goals, but Rodrigo Moreno has scored four times from his last two outings in all competitions and the former Real Madrid trainee will relish the chance to improve on that return at the home of Barcelona.

Marcelino will be wary of a drop in energy levels after the dramatic win over Getafe in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, and the Valencia boss will also be looking to take advantage of the fact that Barcelona have had a day less to prepare for this game.

Whether that has any negative effort on the hosts remains to be seen, but Valencia have every reason to believe that they can be competitive on Saturday evening.

Recent form: DWLDWW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWLWW

Team News

Sergio Busquets in action for Spain on July 1, 2018© Reuters

Barcelona must do without Sergio Busquets this weekend due to the midfielder serving a suspension.

That could lead to a midfield three of Arthur, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal, although Sergi Roberto is another possibility with Nelson Semedo coming back into the team at right-back.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha all remain absent through injury.

Valencia will continue to be without Goncalo Guedes and Geoffrey Kondogbia, but Ezequiel Garay is likely to get the nod over Mouctar Diakhaby.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Arthur, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Neto; Piccini, Paulista, Garay, Gaya; Soler, Parejo, Coquelin, Cheryshev; Moreno, Mina

Head To Head

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last seven matches against Valencia, but it is rare that they have it all their own way.

Valencia have recorded two draws and restricted the margin of defeat to one goal on three occasions, while the visitors last emerged victorious at Camp Nou as recently as 2016.

The corresponding fixture earlier this season ended in a 1-1 draw.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Barcelona 3-0 Valencia

Valencia have impressed in recent weeks, but we cannot back against Barcelona. Valverde's men were rampant against Sevilla and although we do not expect another six-goal haul, a disciplined performance can still lead to a comfortable win.

Share this article now:

Who will win Saturday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Valencia?

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 11, 2018
Read Next:
How Barcelona could line up against Sevilla

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
Belgian Pro League
Argentine Primera Division
Segunda Division
Serie B
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Turkish Super Lig
Australian A-League
2Atletico MadridAtletico21128132131944
3Real Madrid2112363426839
8Real Sociedad228682725230
9Real Betis218582526-129
12Athletic Bilbao2251162328-526
13Real Valladolid226791928-925
15Celta Vigo2266103436-224
18Rayo Vallecano2165102536-1123

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account