Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona were held to a tame draw on their trip to Turin in the Champions League earlier this week and the Catalan giants are back in action this weekend when they travel to the Mestalla Stadium on Sunday. Valencia are fresh from a comfortable victory over Espanyol and will hope to give Barca a scare, on their home turf.
Valverde’s men stand at the top of the La Liga table, after their 3-0 victory over Leganes in the previous round. Previous meetings between the club have always been entertaining and Barcelona are sure to be tested.
The Catalans will be without their star defender Gerard Pique, who will serve a suspension. He will miss the game along with the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes, Javier Mascherano and Rafinha, who are all out injured.
The German shot-stopper is easily one of the best in Europe at the moment and remains the undisputed first choice for Valverde this season.
The youngster is growing in stature by the game and had a decent time against Juventus. He is expected to keep his place at right-back this weekend.
With Pique out injured, French defender Umtiti is expected to play as the senior centre-back for Barcelona in this game.
The Belgian defender has found game-time hard to come by in his time at Camp Nou but injuries to key players might see him start alongside Umtiti against Valencia.
Was replaced by Lucas Digne earlier in the week but is expected to be pushed back into the starting XI, giving his side some pace and stability on the flank.
Easily one of the best midfielders in Europe at the moment, Busquets, will have his work cut out against a fluid Valencia midfield in this tie.
Having settled down in Catalonia pretty well, Paulinho is fast becoming Valverde’s first choice midfielder and he should start on the right-hand side of the midfield for his side.
The Spanish maestro failed to break down the Juventus defence earlier this week but could have a bigger impact in this game against Valencia.
The Croatian has not been at his best this season but Barcelona will need him to step up if they are to take anything from this game.
Was only used from the bench in Italy, probably to give him some rest. He is expected to start alongside Luis Suarez, up front.
After a brace in the league game last weekend, Suarez seems to be back in form and will be the danger man for Barcelona.
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