Barcelona face another crucial game this weekend, as Ronald Koeman’s struggling Catalans host Valencia at the Nou Camp on Saturday afternoon. Barca are searching for a semblance of consistency to ignite their season, with Los Murcielagos aiming to deal another mighty blow to their hosts here.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 19 December, kick-off 15:15
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Valencia: Premier Sports
Last time: Maxi Gomez hit a second-half brace as Valencia beat Barcelona 2-0 at the Mestalla back in January.
Barcelona v Valencia Predictions and Preview
Valencia have put together a decent record against Barcelona in recent years, only losing one of their last five matches to their Catalan rivals. That run includes Los Che’s Copa del Rey final victory over the Blaugrana in May of last year, although Barca did thrash Valencia 5-2 in last season’s corresponding fixture.
Despite losing their La Liga crown last term, Barcelona are in far worse shape this season than last. Koeman doesn’t appear to have the majority of his squad on board when it comes to the style of play and formation he wants to implement, with steady reports of dissent at his favoured 4-2-3-1 setup.
Barca could only manage a 1-0 victory over Levante last weekend, but that at least got them back in the win column following back-to-back defeats to Cadiz and Juventus in La Liga and the Champions League. In spite of their struggles though, the Blaugrana remain capable of dispatching any opponent with relative ease.
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Messi to score first
Valencia to win to nil
Barcelona to win 1-0
Barcelona have scored four or more goals on five occasions already this season, with opponents this weekend Valencia managing that feat twice. One of those games was their emphatic 4-1 victory over Real Madrid, showing Javi Gracia’s side have big performances within them.
However, Los Murcielagos have failed to win any of their four La Liga fixtures since that victory against the champions. They’ve drawn three of those against Alaves, Eibar and Athletic Bilbao, losing the other 1-0 to Atletico Madrid.
The visitors are certainly capable of upsetting the odds this weekend, but they are the 9/1 underdogs in this Barcelona v Valencia preview. Barca are heavily fancied to pick up a vital win, best priced at 10/29 in the latest odds for the game. A draw, meanwhile, is available at 5/1.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi struck the only goal of the game in Barca’s 1-0 victory over Levante last weekend, and the Argentine is the 11/5 favourite to break the deadlock in this one.
One to watch for Valencia: Carlos Soler has scored as many goals as Messi so far this season, with the Spaniard available at 11/1 for the first goal in these Barcelona v Valencia predictions.
Long shot: Picking up points is arguably more important than performances for Barcelona right now, with the Catalans 10/1 to grind out another 1-0 here. With Messi scoring first, those odds rise to 29/1.