Barcelona will look to continue their title charge with a win over Valencia when the two sides meet at Spotify Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona are currently seven points clear at the top of the table, and they will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointing defeat against Almeria in their last league outing when they welcome Valencia to Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Valencia are currently 18th in the league table, and they will be desperate to pull clear of the relegation zone with a victory here. Los Che ended their losing streak with a narrow win over Real Sociedad in their last game. And they will hope to pull off an upset against Barcelona now.
Barcelona managed to pick up a 1-0 win away from home against Valencia the last time these two sides met, and they will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
The league leaders will be without the services of Robert Lewandowski, who suffered a hamstring injury during the loss to Almeria. Meanwhile, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele are sidelined with thigh injuries as well. Gavi is set to miss out due to a suspension.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 4, 2023
Xavi Hernandez is likely to persist with his favoured 4-3-3 formation, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal. Jules Koude and Alejandro Balde are likely to start as the full-backs, and they will hope to add creativity and width to the side. Ronald Araujo will partner Andreas Christensen at the heart of the Barcelona defence.
Sergio Busquets is set to anchor the midfield. And the veteran midfielder will look to break up the opposition’s play and recycle possession. Frenkie de Jong is set to start in the midfield as well.
The Dutch international will look to add creativity and drive to the side along with Sergi Roberto, who will contribute defensively and help keep the midfield compact. Finally, Raphinha is set to start in the front three along with Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati.
Possible Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; de Jong, Busquets, Roberto; Raphinha, Torres, Fati
The visitors will be without the services of Edinson Cavani, Thierry Correia, Nico Gonzalez and Jaume Domenech because of injuries. The visitors are likely to line up in a 4-3-3 formation as well, with Giorgi Mamardashvili as their goalkeeper.
Dimitri Foulquier and Jose Gaya will be deployed as the full-backs, and they will hope to add creativity and width during counterattacks. Gabriel Paulista will partner Mouctar Diakhaby at the heart of the defence.
Hugo Guillamon, Andre Almeida and Yunus Musah will form the midfield three for Valencia and the trio will be expected to cover the defence and set up counter-attacking opportunities for the likes of Samu Castillejo and Justin Kluivert. Finally, Hugo Duro is set to lead the line for Valencia, with Kluivert and Castillejo on either side of him.
Possible Lineup (4-3-3): Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya; Guillamon, Almeida, Musah; Kluivert, Duro, Castillejo
- Barcelona have not lost in their last six La Liga home games against Valencia. Barcelona are undefeated in 33 of their last 37 matches against Valencia in all competitions.
Barcelona have scored at least two goals in five of their last six home matches against Valencia in all competitions.
- Valencia are without a clean sheet in their last five games in this fixture.
- Barcelona are are yet to taste defeat at home in La Liga this season.
- Valencia have picked up just six points on the road in the league this season.
Player to Watch
Frenkie de Jong
The Dutch midfielder has been in impressive form this season and will be crucial to their chances of getting back to winning ways here. The Spanish international will have to shoulder the creative responsibilities in the absence of Pedri and Gavi. He will be expected to help break down the Valencia defence and control the tempo of the game in the midfield as well.
Barcelona 2-0 Valencia
Despite the fact that they were beaten by Almeria in their last league game, Barcelona have done quite well in La Liga this season. And they will be firm favourites to pick up all three points here. The table toppers are unbeaten in five of the last six meetings against Valencia, and they should be able to grind out another victory here.
The away side will have gained some confidence after the win over Real Sociedad. And they will look to push for an upset here. But they are likely to fall short eventually. The gulf in quality between the two sides is enormous. So The Hard Tackle predicts a comfortable 2-0 win for Barcelona.