Shocked by a depleted Deportivo La Coruna, Barcelona will be looking to restore their pride when they host Valencia on Sunday. Luis Enrique’s men will go for the three points as they cannot afford to lose further ground after their surprising defeat at the hand of the struggling Deportivo.
They are two points adrift of table toppers Real Madrid, who will travel to Athletic Bilbao to cement their place at the top of the table. It won’t be an easy task for Barcelona as Valencia are a much-improved side under their new manager Voro. They have won their last five matches out of ten including a win against Real Madrid.
In what is a major concern, Voro will be without their two attacking players Santi Mina and Nani which could be an advantage for the Catalans.
This would be Barcelona’s seventh straight win in La Liga at Camp Nou if they can manage to beat Valencia. They were made to toil against a determined Deportivo side in the last League game. Their loss has now made it harder for them and it is now Madrid’s title to lose. Luis Enrique needs a big performance from his team to put pressure on Real Madrid.
Predicted 4-3-3 Barcelona Lineup Vs Valencia
Ter Stegen will hold his place in the starting lineup. The Barcelona goalie has been pretty decent for them.
Jordi Alba is carrying an injury so Lucas Digne is likely to take his place on the left-hand side.
Samuel Umtiti will return to the central defence to partner Gerard Pique.
Sergi Roberto continues to be on the right side of the defence.
The Catalans have to turn around their fortunes and Sergio Busquets has to play a key role against Valencia.
Enrique rested two of his main midfielders in the last match. But both Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic are poised for a return to the starting lineup and will be crucial in controlling the tempo of the game.
Neymar is currently suffering from a groin injury and might miss the match. In that case, Arda Turan is in the line to get his second start on the left wing.
Lionel Messi was the only standout performer for Barcelona in the last match. Although the player is currently slightly injured but he is expected to return to full fitness before the match.
Luis Suarez has to reduce his profligacy and has to utilise the chances that come to him.