Saturday 2 Feb

Barcelona vs Valencia - Match Preview

02 Feb 2019 Ed Mackey SPAIN: LaLiga
SPAIN: LaLiga

FC Barcelona

  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

vs

Kick-off
17:30 GMT
02 February 2019

Valencia CF

  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
17:30 GMT 02 February 2019

With the winter break and the busy festive schedule well behind us, the 2018/19 European season is nearing its final stretch. In La Liga, Barcelona are looking to defend their title and they face Valencia on Saturday.

STATS

  • Barcelona haven’t been up to their brilliant best this season but they still sit top of the table with a five-point lead over 2nd-place Atletico. With eight wins from their last eight in the league, they are hitting form at the perfect time, especially as they’re still battling on all fronts. They eased past Girona last time out, beating them 2-0 away from home.
  • Valencia’s title-challenging days are well behind them now and they will be lucky to secure a place in Europe next term. They currently sit 7th in the table with seven points separating them from the top four. They have won three of their last five in the league, including both of their two most recent, the last being a comfortable 3-0 win against Villarreal.
  • Both of La Liga’s top two goalscorers belong to Barcelona with Lionel Messi (19) and Luis Suarez (15) challenging for the Golden Boot.
  • Valencia have struggled to find a prolific scorer this season and Daniel Parejo is the player leading the way for them with just five goals.

HEAD TO HEAD

As is to be expected, Valencia’s record against Barcelona isn’t something that they will be able to take confidence from but their last two league wins against the Catalans have come at the Camp Nou. The last time the sides met, it ended 1-1 after Lionel Messi cancelled out Ezequiel Garay’s opener. Both teams have scored in each of the last seven league meetings but three of those have ended 1-1.

BARCELONA NEWS

The hosts will be desperate to maintain their lead at the top of the table and a win over Valencia would do just that. Sergio Busquets is suspended whilst Rafinha, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele are all injured and won’t feature.

Latest matches: FC Barcelona

30.01.2019 Copa FC Barcelona Sevilla FC 6:1 W
27.01.2019 LaLi Girona FC FC Barcelona 0:2 W
23.01.2019 Copa Sevilla FC FC Barcelona 2:0 L
20.01.2019 LaLi FC Barcelona CD Leganes 3:1 W
17.01.2019 Copa FC Barcelona Levante UD 3:0 W

VALENCIA NEWS

Valencia need to avoid defeat if there are to continue their pursuit of the top six. Only Jose Gaya and Javier Jimenez miss out as Goncalo Guedes has returned to training this week.

Latest matches: Valencia CF

29.01.2019 Copa Valencia CF Getafe CF 3:1 W
26.01.2019 LaLi Valencia CF Villarreal CF 3:0 W
22.01.2019 Copa Getafe CF Valencia CF 1:0 L
19.01.2019 LaLi Celta de Vigo Valencia CF 1:2 W
15.01.2019 Copa Valencia CF Sporting Gijon 3:0 W

SUMMARY

As they always are on their own patch, Barcelona are big favourites to come away with three points on Saturday evening. They don’t usually keep a clean sheet against Valencia which is why it might be wise to back the home side to win and both teams to score.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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