La Liga: Valencia vs. Barcelona: Team News, Pregame

At one of the most difficult venues in the nation, Barça hopes to win big and put an end to a crisis.

 

Girona vs. FC Barcelona in La Liga FC Barcelona (4th, 34 points)vs. EA Sports Valencia CF (11th, 19 points) * *Conditions at the time of composition

 

Matchday 17 of the 2023–24 La Liga competition/round

 

Barcelona’s question marks and outs: Gavi, Iñigo Martínez, Marcos Alonso, Marc-André ter Stegen

 

Valencia’s Javi Guerra, André Almeida, José Gayà, and Gabriel Paulista are the outs and doubts.

 

Saturday, December 16, 2023, at 9 p.m. CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8 p.m. GMT (UK), 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT (USA), and 1.30 a.m. IST (India, Sunday)

 

Location: Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain

 

Miguel Ángel Ortiz Arias acted as referee.

 

Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea for VAR

How to watch on TV: Movistar La Liga (Spain), Sports18 (India), SuperSport (Nigeria), ESPN Deportes (USA), Viaplay Sports 1 (UK), and others

 

Online viewing options include Movistar+ (Spain), LaLigaTV (UK), and ESPN+ (USA).

 

After suffering one of their most humiliating defeats in Europe, away to Royal Antwerp in the Champions League group stage final on Wednesday, Barcelona returns to La Liga action on Saturday Night Football, looking to bounce back from a difficult week. They take on Valencia at Mestalla, one of the hardest grounds in the nation.

As the season draws closer to the halfway mark, Xavi Hernández’s team has been struggling both with and without the ball, and Barça enters this match on the heels of a two-game losing streak that exposed all of these problems. A difficult environment has been created by rumors of conflict between the management and the locker room, and Xavi and the team can only overcome this crisis with outstanding performances and outcomes.

 

Regardless of how well Valencia is playing or not, the timing couldn’t be worse leading up to a trip to Mestalla, which every Barça fan knows is one of the most difficult tests of every La Liga season. As of right now, Rubén Baraja’s team has lost four straight games despite the Bats having only won one of their previous six games due to subpar attacking and defensive performances.

 

But when Valencia welcomes the big boys to their stadium, everything changes, and they are particularly difficult to play against when they play Barça. The crowd is enthralled right away, and Valencia consistently finds a new gear that enables them to play with greater fervor and intensity than other La Liga teams. Even with the absence of several important players due to suspension and injuries, this will still be a very challenging task.

 

Even in the event that Barça had been dominating at the top of They desperately need a strong showing and three points, but under pressure like this, those things rarely come together.

 

Barça will either find a way to win ugly and feel reasonably good about themselves, or they will suffer another crushing defeat that may bring an end to the Xavi Era. A huge football victory seems like the furthest thing from the possibilities, but with this lovely game we all adore, you never know.

 

Perhaps Barça has reached their lowest point and there is no turning back now. The road to recovery begins here. Valencia may be prepared to strike if given the opportunity, and perhaps there is still one more new low to reach.

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS Barcelona (4-3-3): Peña; Pedri, De Jong, Gündogan; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Félix; Cancelo, Araujo, Christensen, Balde

 

Correia, Mosquera, Özkacar, Gasiorowski; Foulquier, Diakhaby, Pepelu, Pérez; López, Duro are Valencia’s (4-4-2) players.

 

ESTIMATION

If it weren’t for Barça’s own dismal run, Valencia’s poor form would be encouraging, making this match at Mestalla all but a draw. This is the best I can do, a 1-1 draw that may be a step in the right direction given the caliber of play. I have no reason to trust this team, and I am unable to summon any optimism to predict a win in this match. Anything that isn’t a humiliating loss seems like a positive thing right now.

Click for more updates on Barcelona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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