Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prediction: Barcelona vs Valencia

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888sport

Following the end of the FIFA international break, now it’s time for the European leagues to resume its action. And with that in mind, this Saturday we will witness a thrilling La Liga encounter between two of the biggest title candidates: FC Barcelona and Valencia. Neither side has started the campaign on top form, and this could be a great chance to earn a statement win considering both will play in the UEFA Champions League next week. Kick-off for this match is slated for Saturday at 20:oo UK time.

FC Barcelona

It’s safe to say Los Blaugranas have not started the season as brightly as they would have liked. Following a 2-2 away draw at Osasuna the last time out, Ernesto Valverde’s men only have four points following their first three league matches (W1, D1, L1). They should be excited to come back home, however, as their lone contest at Camp Nou this season ended with a huge 5-2 win over Real Betis last month. Valverde has not found the Best XI yet ahead of this season, and the absence of Lionel Messi has hurt the side more than expected thus far. But if there is one game to bounce back, this is it. Winning against Valencia would not only qualify as a “statement” win against a contender, but it could also boost the team’s morale ahead of the upcoming challenges. Including their UEFA Champions League debut next week at Borussia Dortmund.

Team News

Ousmane Dembele (muscle), Lionel Messi (calf) and Neto (hand) have been ruled out. Luis Suarez (calf) is quite unlikely to feature.

Nelson Semedo (ankle), Junior Firpo (knee) and Samuel Umtiti (foot) are all doubtful.

Valencia

On the other hand, Los Che have not looked very good this season either. Just like Barca, Valencia also have a W1, D1, L1 mark during the current 2019-20 Liga campaign. They are coming off a solid 2-0 home win over Mallorca the last time out, although at the same time, their lone away match during the current term ended in a 1-0 defeat at Celta de Vigo. The stats do not boost Valencia’s chances ahead of this match, though. It is worth mentioning that Valencia have not recovered points during their last three La Liga away matches where they have conceded first, something that could easily happen here. And to make things even more complicated, Valencia are D2, L8 in their last 10 away matches against the Big Three (Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid). Can they end that negative run, and pull the upset at Camp Nou?

Team News

Valencia shouldn’t have many absentees ahead of this match. They do not have players that have been confirmed as out.

However, Cristiano Piccini (knee) and Carlos Soler (ankle) are both questionable.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Barcelona have lost just two of their last 24 league matches against Valencia. However, both losses were at Camp Nou (2014 and 2016).
  • Valencia have lost just once in their last six La Liga encounters (W4, D1, L1).
  • Barcelona have just four points in their first three league matches (W1, D1, L1). That’s their lowest tally since the 2008/09 season.
  • Both sides own a W1, D1, L1 mark after their first three league games. Both sit five points away from the top spot in the standings.
  • Each of the last four Liga matches between these two sides have ended with both teams scoring.

Conclusion

Matches between Valencia and Barcelona have been very intense in recent years. And the fact that both sides are desperate for the win should make things even more open.

It wouldn’t be strange to see at least four goals scored in total.

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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