The Spanish top flight’s schedule throws up a cracker on La Liga’s return from the international break, as champions Barcelona host Valencia at the Nou Camp. Los Che finished fourth last season but haven’t made a great start to this campaign, while Barca are also looking to get into the swing of things after also making a poor start.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 14 September, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Valencia: DAZN
Last time: Valencia beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final at the end of last season, with Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo both scoring in the first half before Lionel Messi’s late goal came to nothing for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona v Valencia Predictions and Preview
It’s not been the start Barcelona supporters expected to the new campaign, with Ernesto Valverde’s side sitting eighth in the table after three matches. It’s still very early days though, of course, and the champions will come good. This home fixture against Valencia gives them the perfect chance to get their season off the ground on Saturday night.
Barca began their season with a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Athletic Bilbao, but seemed to put that firmly behind them with a 5-2 victory over Real Betis, with Antoine Griezmann announcing himself to the Nou Camp faithful. The Blaugrana stuttered once again just before the break though, conceding a late penalty to draw 2-2 at Osasuna.
Messi should be back in the fold this weekend though, with the Argentine maestro yet to feature so far this season. Like his strike partner, Luis Suarez has been struggling with a calf injury, but he’s also approaching full fitness. With those two back in the side to partner Griezmann, Barca fans will hope for the fireworks to start.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Barcelona to win 2-1||13/2||Offer|
|Lionel Messi to score first||5/2||Offer|
|Barcelona to win and BTTS||7/5||Offer|
Valencia’s travelling contingent will be hoping that doesn’t happen straight away, with Los Che looking to make it back-to-back victories this weekend. Marcelino’s side began their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad, before a 1-0 defeat away to Celta Vigo. They probably didn’t want the international break after beating Mallorca 2-0 at home a couple of weeks back.
That’s given Carlos Soler and Cristiano Piccini some time to work on their fitness, but the duo are set to miss out once again here though. This promises to be a tough night’s work for Valencia, but they’ll certainly be buoyed by their Copa del Rey victory a few months back, as well as a pair of draws against the champions in the league last term.
Barca were undefeated in six against Los Che before last season though, winning six, and they are the 2/5 favourites to pick up their second win of the season in this match. Valencia are priced at 13/2, while you can back the draw at 7/2.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi should be fit to make his first appearance of the season this weekend, and the Argentine will want to make up for lost time. He is 5/2 to break the deadlock in this game, and get his goal tally for the campaign up and running after netting 51 in 50 games last term.
One to watch for Valencia: Dani Parejo scored nine La Liga goals in 36 appearances from midfield last season, and has started the new campaign with two in two. The Valencia penalty taker is 10/1 to open the scoring this weekend.
Long shot: Valencia are unbeaten in their last three matches against Barca, winning 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final just a matter of months ago. Los Che are out at 20/1 to repeat that result in this match by claiming the three points in Catalunya.