Valencia vs Barcelona

Valencia vs Barcelona : 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.

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Both sides come into the game on the back of Copa del Rey quarter-final victories and are looking, with Barcelona defeating Sevilla 8-2 on aggregate and Valencia scoring a late goal to surpass Getafe (3-2).

Ernesto Valverde has opted for: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Vermaelen, Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, Alena, Arturo Vidal, Coutinho, Messi and Luis Suarez. The substitutes are: Jordi Alba, Lenglet, Arthur, Murillo, Samper, Prince, Malcom and Inaki Pena.

For Valencia, Marcelino has gone for: Neto, Lato, Gabriel Paulista, Garay, Piccini, Coquelin, Parejo, Wass, Cheryshev, Gameiro and Rodrigo Moreno. The bench is as follows: Jaume, Roncaglia, Kondogbia, Soler, Ferrán, Kangin and Santi Mina.

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 vs Barcelona : Spanish Primera División (La Liga)
Team News

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.

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