Barcelona will look to make it three La Liga wins on the spin when they play host to Valencia on Saturday at 3:15pm (UK time).
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Araújo, Alba; Busquets; Griezmann, Pedri, Coutinho, Braithwaite; Messi.
Valencia XI: Doménech; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gayá; Musah, Soler, Racic, Cheryshev; Gómez, Guedes.
Where to watch Barcelona vs Valencia on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
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Scoreline prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Valencia
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Barcelona vs Valencia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The Blaugrana pulled off a huge 2-1 victory over second-placed Real Sociedad in midweek to make it back-to-back wins for Ronald Koeman since suffering that 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Juventus. The Dutchman now faces his former club Valencia, whom he managed in the 2007/08 season
After a slow start to the season, Barca have just begun to gain a foothold under Koeman, who has collected six points across his last two matches and taken the Catalan club up to fifth. They have a game in hand on fourth-placed Villarreal which, if they win, will take them into the top four.
Valencia also made a slow start to the season, but there are few signs that things will start picking up any time soon. Los Che are winless in their last four outings and have tasted victory just once across their previous eight meetings with Barca, though that win was the most recent showdown, a 2-0 triumph at the Mestalla back in January.
- Barcelona (vs Real Sociedad): Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Mingueza, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri, Griezmann, Braithwaite; Messi.
- Valencia (vs Athletic Bilbao): Domenech; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Lato; Musah, Soler, Racic, Guedes; Vallejo, Gomez.
Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati remain long-term absentees for Koeman, while Ousmane Dembele recently sustained another hamstring injury which has ruled him out until the New Year. Valencia boss Javi Gracia, meanwhile, is without Kevin Gameiro and former Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
Players to watch:
- Barcelona: Despite only just turning 18 last month, Pedri has already cemented a consistent first-team berth under Koeman and is dazzling Barca fans with his twinkle-toed feet and balletic gait. There are shades of Lionel Messi in his dribbling ability and a maturity about his play that transcends his cherubic features. “I listen and learn from him,” Pedri recently said of his relationship with Messi, and it’s clearly rubbing off on him, as he looks a real talent, and has somewhat quelled the loss of another young star, Fati, to injury.
- Valencia: Barca are not alone in the wonderkid department with Los Che also boasting a precocious midfielder on the books. Yunus Musah, 18, is a fully-fledged United States international and has started 11 of Valencia’s 13 La Liga games this season, scoring his first goal in a 2-2 draw with Getafe. The New Yorker spent time in the Arsenal academy between 2012 and 2019, but is now a first-team regular at the Mestalla and tipped for the top.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Barcelona: WWLWL
- Valencia: DDLDW
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