MX23RW : Wednesday, December 8 07:37:52| >> :120:35344:35344:
Oct 17, 2021 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou
Fati (13'), Depay (41' pen.), Coutinho (85')
Gavi (20'), Busquets (32')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Gaya (5')
Gaya (39'), Foulquier (63'), Gomez (82')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Valencia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Valencia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways when they continue their 2021-22 La Liga campaign at home to Valencia on Sunday night.

The Catalan giants are currently ninth in the table, having picked up 12 points from their opening seven matches, while Valencia occupy eighth, level on points with Barcelona ahead of the clash at Camp Nou.

Match preview

Barcelona's Ansu Fati celebrates scoring their third goal with Ronald Araujo and teammates on September 27, 2021© Reuters

The 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid before the international break was expected to be Ronald Koeman's final match in charge of Barcelona, but the Dutchman has kept his position at the helm and will lead the team into Sunday's clash with Valencia despite the widespread speculation surrounding his future.

The Catalan giants have lost their last two matches to Benfica and Atletico, while they have only won one of their last four in the league, which has left them in ninth position in the table.

A record of three wins, three draws and one defeat from seven matches has brought the Catalan outfit 12 points, which has left them five points off the top of the table, albeit with a game in hand on leaders Real Madrid.

The situation in the league is far from terminal, but Barcelona have a lot of work to do in the Champions League, having lost their opening two fixtures against Bayern Munich and Benfica, and they have two huge games after this one, taking on Dinamo Kiev in Europe and Real Madrid in La Liga next weekend.

Koeman will allegedly be given the next three matches to attempt to turn the season around, but Barcelona have only won one of their last three league games against Valencia, and the points were shared in a 2-2 draw when the two teams locked horns at Camp Nou last December.

Valencia's Hugo Duro celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Valencia, meanwhile, have won three, drawn three and lost two of their opening eight matches of the season to collect 12 points, which has left them in eighth position in the table.

Los Che actually won three of their first four league games of the season but are without a victory in their last four, losing to Real Madrid and Sevilla, in addition to drawing with Athletic Bilbao and Cadiz.

Valencia's struggles last term saw them post their lowest position since the 1987-88 campaign, with 13th representing a disappointing season for the club, and Jose Bordalas is now in charge of first-team affairs.

The team's excellent start to the campaign has just dipped in recent weeks, but they have only lost two of their last six league games against Barcelona, holding the Catalan outfit to draws on three occasions.

Valencia will travel to Camp Nou looking to inflict a third straight defeat on Koeman's side, and Los Che have only lost one of their four away league games this season, which came at Sevilla on September 22.

Barcelona La Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Valencia La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Barcelona's new signing Sergio Aguero poses during his presentation on May 31, 2021© Reuters

Barcelona could welcome Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero back into the squad this weekend, with both players stepping up their injury recoveries over the international break.

Martin Braithwaite and Pedri are definitely out, though, while Ronald Araujo is absent due to the hamstring problem that he picked up while representing Uruguay over the international break.

Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia and Luuk de Jong could all come into the starting side, with Koeman expected to make changes from the side that lost to Atletico, but there should be another start for Gavi, who became Spain's youngest-ever player over the international break.

As for Valencia, Jose Gaya and Carlos Soler have been passed fit following spells on the sidelines, but Cristiano Piccini is still injured, while Omar Alderete will miss out through suspension.

Maxi Gomez - recently linked with Barcelona - is available after a ban of his own and should come into the starting side, potentially joining Goncalo Guedes as part of a front two.

Mouctar Diakhaby is set to replace Alderete in the middle of the defence, while Gaya and Soler could come in for Yunus Musah and Toni Lato if the pair are able to prove their fitness over the next 24 hours.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; F de Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Fati, L de Jong, Memphis

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Correia, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya; Soler, Wass, Guillamon, Duro; Guedes, Gomez

SM words green background

We say: Barcelona 2-1 Valencia

This is a very, very difficult match to call, and we went back and forth before settling on a narrow Barcelona win. Valencia are more than capable of picking up a positive result, but Los Che were struggling before the international break, and we fancy Koeman's side to put an incredibly important three points on the board.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Barcelona attacker Ansu Fati celebrates scoring against Levante in La Liga on September 26, 2021
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9Athletic Bilbao164931311221
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