Barcelona make the short journey to face Valencia in La Liga on Sunday evening (20:00 UK time).
Ronald Koeman, who previously called the Mestalla home, seeks a winning return while Los Che are looking to end a five-game winless streak.
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Where to watch Valencia vs Barcelona on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Scoreline prediction: Valencia 1-2 Barcelona
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Valencia vs Barcelona build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
To say Javi Gracia is desperate for all three points would be an understatement. Los Che are now on a five-game winless streak (three draws and two losses), which has left them dangling six points above the relegation zone. They do go into this weekend’s game unbeaten in their last eight matches at the Mestalla, with half of those ending in wins, but recent history against Barça isn’t on their side. Valencia have won just one of their last nine games against the Blaugrana although that success came in this exact fixture last season (2-0).
A shock home loss against Granada meant Barcelona missed the opportunity to usurp Atletico Madrid as La Liga leaders. Instead, the Catalan giants, who have now lost two of their previous four league outings, find themselves two points behind Diego Simeone’s men with five matches remaining. Before their recent 2-1 loss at Real Madrid, they had put together a nine-game winning streak away from home, subsequently registering 30 goals while conceding just five times. Overall, this season Barça boast the league’s second best away record — behind Real — having won 11 of their previous 16 games whilst suffering four defeats. Also no one has scored more goals than Koeman’s side (34) or conceded fewer (13).
- Valencia (vs Alavés): Doménech; Wass, Guillamón, Paulista, Gayà; Musah, Racic, Soler, Guedes; Gameiro, Gómez.
- Barcelona (vs Granada): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Umtiti, Piqué; Busquets; Roberto, Moriba, De Jong, Alba; Messi, Griezmann.
There are no Valencia players currently reported injured or suspended. Barça visit the Mestalla missing just three first-teamers. Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho sit out due to long-term knee injuries while Martin Braithwaite is struggling with an troublesome ankle injury.
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Player to watch: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
A record-extending eighth Pichichi Trophy could soon be in Lionel Messi’s hands. For a while, it seemed former Barcelona partner in crime Luis Suárez was destined to finish as this season’s La Liga top-scorer, but the Argentine forward has raced to 26 strikes, which is five more than his nearest challenger, Karim Benzema, and he will fancy adding to his tally this weekend. In 35 previous games against Los Che, he’s bagged 29 goals, which makes Valencia his third-favourite La Liga opponent behind Sevilla (38 goals in 43 matches) and Atlético Madrid (32 in 42).
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Valencia: DLDDL
- Barcelona: LWWLW
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