Xavi Hernandez’s side fell to a disastrous 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in midweek Champions League action and will continue their continental journey in the Europa League knock-outs.
After suffering back-to-back Champions League group stage eliminations for only the second time in the club’s history, the Blaugrana embark on a redemption-poised mission at Valencia.
While Barcelona’s European campaign has been a complete disaster, things are looking much better in La Liga, where they currently trail reigning champions Real Madrid by three points.
The Catalans have reacted well following a 3-1 El Clasico defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning consecutive league matches at the Spotify Camp Nou by an aggregate score of 7-0.
Unlike their visitors, Valencia squandered a lead last weekend as they slumped to a 2-1 home loss to Mallorca, extending their winless top-flight run to three games (D2, L1).
Despite their rough patch, Los Che have managed to cling on to their top-half place, though head coach Gennaro Gattuso starts to fill the pressure amid his side’s faltering bid to join the top-four race.
With fourth-placed Real Sociedad seven points clear, any slip-up between now and the World Cup break could drop Valencia out of the top-four pace already in the first half of the season.
Facing Barcelona doesn’t suit Valencia by any stretch of the imagination, as they’ve won just one of their last 15 home La Liga encounters against the Catalan powerhouse (D7, L7), courtesy of a 2-0 triumph in January 2020.
However, they have found the goals surprisingly raining down against the Blaugrana, noticeably scoring in each of their last 15 league showdowns at an average of 1.46 per match.
A number one priority on Gattuso’s assignment list is to help Valencia hold onto the lead once they take it, as they’ve dropped a league joint-high nine points from winning positions this season.
Except for the abovementioned El Clasico collapse, Barcelona have won nine of their last ten La Liga outings by an aggregate score of 27-3, scoring at least three goals on seven occasions in that span.
Delivering action from the get-go, the visitors have netted precisely three first-half goals in successive league fixtures since losing in Madrid, highlighting the potential for a quick-fire start.
More importantly, Xavi has seemingly tightened up the Blaugrana’s defence, with the Camp Nou outfit registering a staggering nine clean sheets across the opening 11 La Liga rounds.
Valencia vs Barcelona Potential Line-ups
Valencia (4-3-3): Giorgi Mamardashvili; Thierry Correia, Gabriel Paulista, Hugo Guillamon, Jose Gaya; Yunus Musah, Andre Almeida, Dimitri Foulquier; Samuel Lino, Edinson Cavani, Justin Kluivert.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde, Eric Garcia, Alejandro Balde; Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati.
How to Watch?
Valencia vs Barcelona, alongside all other Blaugrana matches this season, is available to watch live online via Barcelona live streams.
Valencia vs Barcelona Prediction
Fatigue could be catching up with Barcelona following another physically exhausting clash against Bayern, which threatens to soften their defensive resilience.
With Edinson Cavani rolling back the years, Valencia are in a prime position to maintain their scoring spree against the Catalan side, yet their own defensive frailties remain a problem.
So we expect Barcelona to take home all three points, even though they seem likely to concede.
Valencia 1-2 Barcelona
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