Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Valencia vs Barcelona. We are back to La Liga action after a victory against UD Ibiza in Copa Del Rey. We are heading into another away fixture and this time it is one of our toughest opponents away from home. Valencia is a tough side to face and they have performed well against us from time to time. This game is going to be Quique Setien’s biggest challenge so far.
However, Setien has just started. There are a lot of difficulties and challenges coming his way. Valencia marks the beginning of the tough times we go through every season. Although Quique is currently on a 100%-win record, it is now important to see how well he does against Valencia. So, far things are going really good for us and I feel like Barcelona is now in the driving seat when it comes to winning the La Liga. However, this is easier said than done. We have many difficult fixtures coming up and Valencia is no exception.
Even if you consider our last 5 outings against Valencia, you would be surprised to know that we did not manage to win in 3 games. This shows how much tough Valencia is and what we can we expect from them. Even against Ibiza, we got our late winning goal which, I think, was a good charm for us. However, good charms don’t always come and we cannot simply rely on luck to win games. Valencia is a side that is not going to hold back against us and especially in the roaring atmosphere in their home stadium, they are going to fully attack us. Therefore, we are in for a tough challenge ahead. So, without further ado, let’s start our Match Preview of Valencia vs Barcelona.
VALENCIA VS BARCELONA MATCH PREVIEW
So far, Quique has made us happy with the kind of football he is making our team play. We, as Barcelona fans, always want to see that kind of football because it’s our basic idea behind the club and that’s what we call our philosophy. Quique Setien made us believe that we can once again play that possession football aka Tiki Taka, which we love to see. Therefore, we have huge hopes from Setien and the way he is leading our team. For me, results don’t matter a lot at the moment.
However, if you look at the gravity of the situation and see how vulnerable we are at the number 1 spot in La Liga, then you are surely going to say that winning every game is a must. Especially this week because this week we have our match before the two Madrid side. Therefore, we have to pressurize the opponents this time. Usually what happens is that Real Madrid plays before us, and just before starting our game, we are already aware if there is any room for making mistakes or not. It is totally different this time.
We have to win against Valencia and show Real Madrid that we have won against a very tough side convincingly. This will put pressure on Real Madrid to keep themselves alive in the title race. We want to see dominance in Valencia vs Barcelona clash. We want to see the strength Quique has given us. Furthermore, we want to see possession-based football and we want to attack Valencia from all ends. As we know, we have a major squad. Except for Luis Suarez and Dembele, we have our entire A set ready for the clash. There is no room for excuses.
Dani Parejo out:
Before we move on to the expected lineups in our Match Preview, I would like to address that Dani Parejo is going to miss the clash against us due to a suspension. Dani is a lifeline for Valencia in the midfield. He is a player who runs the entire midfield alone. Luckily, he is suspended for Valencia vs Barcelona clash, therefore, we can ease up a little bit. However, this still does not change the fact that Valencia is going to play full attacking football and this game is going to be a test of every player’s endurance.
Maxi Gomez is still going to be in the squad and we know how much he loves to play against us. He has scored against us from time to time, and not only with Valencia, but, also when he used to play in Celta Vigo. Therefore, it is surely going to be a test for the defenders. Maxi Gomez likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and he can make a rapid unexpected run. Therefore, it is really important to keep an account of him as he is surely going to be the trouble-causing factor for us.
Kick Off Time:
Valenica vs Barcelona will kick off at 04:00 PM as per the local time in Mestalla Stadium. You can check the kick off timings for your respective region in the following image:
Quique Setien has announced a squad list of 18 players to head to Valencia for a daring away clash in La Liga. These players are:
- Goalkeepers: Ter Stegen and Inaki Pena.
- Defenders: Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Umtiti, and Firpo.
- Midfielders: Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Roberto, De Jong, and Vidal.
- Forwards: Messi, Griezmann, Collado, and Ansu Fati.
Ter Stegen is going to the most likely goalkeeper to start things for us. He was given a much-needed rest against Ibiza and is now hopefully free of any stress. We mentioned above that our defenders are surely going to have a busy day against Valencia and Ter Stegen is no exception to that. Valencia has a few clinical finishers including the famous Maxi Lopez who loves to curl it in from outside the box. Therefore, it is going to be a tougher day for Ter Stegen. Although, I have 100% hopes that Stegen won’t make a silly or stupid mistake. Still, the game of football is unpredictable and you never know what to expect.
I expect Quique to go with 3 defenders just like 2 previous fixtures. The reason behind it is that we are targeting possession, and attacking football. The 3-1-4-2 formation certainly delivered that. I expect Umititi, Pique, and Semedo to start the game for us. Semedo did not impress much playing higher up on the pitch in the game against Ibiza, and I think it is better to use him in the position which he prefers. Lenglet can also start for us ahead of Umtiti. It is going to be interesting which defender Quique considers to be a worthy starter, and if the corresponding defender can live up to the expectations or not.
I expect Sergio Busquests to start as the CDM. We saw how good he played against Granada and how well he can carry our entire midfield. Sergio totally dominated the Granada single-handedly. Furthermore, I expect Jordi Alba to play as the left midfielder and Roberto on the right. Roberto is certainly a better choice than Semedo to play attacking football. He has been doing it in the past and it suits him well.
Roberto has that extra bit of confidence and composure in him which makes him a suited midfielder as well as a Fullback. Furthermore, I expect De jong, and Arthur Melo to play as Centre Midfielders. It is really tough to choose between Arthur and Vidal. Both are playing excellent football at the moment making it really difficult to decide which midfielder should start. We might even see Roberto being benched, and Vidal starting ahead of him. That is going to add way more strength in our midfield. Let’s see what happens.
I expect Griezmann and Messi to play as strikes further up on the pitch. Griezmann needs to adapt again to the position which he prefers the most. However, he is less likely to be involved in the game as much as he used to when playing on the wing. On the wing, Griezmann used to work tirelessly. However, this job is going to be handled by Messi who is going to drop down to link with the midfield and try to assist Griezmann maybe.
Messi is going to continue with the same style of play and is easily going to adapt to whatever formation Quique comes up with. No matter where he plays, we know that Messi is going to be a pivot in the midfield as well as the attack. He is most likely to stay down on the pitch, as a false 9 and let Griezmann do the pressing on the opposition defenders. Messi is going to continue to be the playmaker he is and let’s see what is he going to end up doing.
The game against Valencia is always tough especially when we go away to their stadium. It is even tougher this time considering that our club is undergoing several injury crises and the new manager is not fully settled to the conditions in Barcelona. However, despite having all the odds stacked up against us, I predict that we are going to win this encounter by 2 goals to 1. This means that our final prediction of this fixture is Valencia 1-2 Barcelona.
Anyway, this is it for the Match Preview of Valencia vs Barcelona. I hope you like our Match Preview. What are your thoughts on our lineups? Do you agree with our score predictions? Drop your feedback and predictions in the comments section below. Stay tuned for upcoming content. Until next time, Visca El Barca!