Thursday, February 21, 2019

Prediction: FC Barcelona vs Valencia

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: 888sport

FC Barcelona had their backs against the wall just a few days ago, but resolved things in dominant fashion. Their impressive 6-1 win over Sevilla in the Copa del Rey earlier this week lifted the side towards the tournament’s semifinals, but now they must shift their focus once again. Los Blaugranas will host Valencia at Camp Nou this Saturday. Will they come through with another win, or will Los Che pull the upset?

FC Barcelona

Barcelona continue to roll and are showing no can team can match up with them, at least in LaLiga. Ernesto Valverde’s men have been dominating the competition, and right now they sit at the top of the standings with a comfortable five-point lead over the second-placed Atletico Madrid. Los Blaugranas have won their previous eight league matches and right now it seems no Liga side can match up with their strong attack or their nasty defence. Barcelona lead the standings with 49 points (W15, D4, L2) and bounced back in a huge way in the Copa del Rey thanks to an impressive 6-1 midweek win over Sevilla. Now they will quickly shift their focus – again – and will try to keep themselves with a nice cushion at the top of the standings. Can they do it against a struggling Valencia side that has been playing well below the expectations this season? It might seem easy on paper, but Barca will need to be at their best to accomplish that feat.

Team News

Barcelona will have four absentees entering this match. The biggest one will be the loss of Sergio Busquets, who’s suspended.

Rafinha will miss for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. The French duo of Samuel Umtiti (knee) and Ousmane Dembele (ankle) has also been ruled out.

Valencia

Valencia started the season quite poor, but Los Che have been decidedly on the rise during the past few weeks. Their five-game form backs this statement up since they have lost just once over that span (W3, D1, L1) and it should be noted that the Mestalla outfit, despite not playing on the same level as they were last season, have only lost four times in the league (third-lowest tally in the league). Valencia’s biggest problem has been their inability to turn draws into wins, since they have drawn a league-high 11 times, while winning just six times overall. But the recent record shows that Los Che are beginning to turn things around of late if we let the recent five-game record speaks for itself. Playing at Camp Nou is always tough, though. Valencia will need to be at their best if they want to pull the upset, but recent history gives them a chance since they have won twice here since 2014. Can they do it again while breaking Barca’s impressive winning record in recent months?

Team News

Marcelino won’t have Francis Coquelin for this one, as the former Arsenal midfielder is absent due to personal reasons. Geoffrey Kondogbia is out with a muscle injury as well.

To make things even more complicated for the gaffer, two other potential starters have been listed as doubtful. These are Ezequiel Garay (head) and Goncalo Guedes (hernia).

Key Factors to Consider

  • The recent H2H record in the previous five matches between both sides favours Barcelona. They’re undefeated over that span (W3, D2).
  • Don’t be surprised if Lionel Messi finds the back of the net. The Argentinian superstar has 25 career goals against Valencia.
  • Both teams have scored in seven of Barca’s 11 home league matches. However, Valencia have failed to score in seven of their 16 competitive away games.
  • Strong starters? Barcelona have won at both HT/FT in seven home matches this term. That’s a league-high mark.
  • The five-game form (in all competitions) is the same on both sides: four wins and one defeat over that span.

Conclusion

Barcelona are coming off a six-goal performance against Sevilla, and Valencia scored three goals in their midweek Copa del Rey match as well.

Don’t be surprised if we witness another high-scoring match. One that might have over 3.5 goals scored overall.

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 10/11

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.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top