Xavi’s men are up against Valencia in order to regain momentum and consolidate their position at the top of the La Liga table.
Barcelona come into this fixture on the back of a big win over archrivals, Real Madrid, in the Copa del Rey. The narrow win sees them in an advantageous position in the semifinal stage of the competition. Before this game however, Barcelona had a slipup in the league, suffering a shock defeat away to relegation threatened Almeria on the back of a Europa League exit to Manchester United. The Blaugranas boast of a good record against their opposition for today, having not lost any of their last six home games against them, while winning the previous four league meetings as well.
Valencia seemed to have turned the tide in La Liga, recording a win in their previous game against Real Sociedad after a series of five straight defeats. Their poor form and issues with the ownership side of things have put Valencia into a precarious position in La Liga. They are currently sat in 19th position with 23 points from 23 games and a goal difference of exactly zero.
The Catalans head into the match in good spirits after their Copa del Rey semi final first leg away win over Real Madrid, although last week’s league defeat to Almeria has put a dent in their fine LaLiga form.
Valencia are having a torrid season and are currently second from bottom, although they did manage their first win in eight games across all competitions when they beat Real Sociedad 1-0 last weekend
Gavi is suspended for Barcelona, while Pedri, Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele remain sidelined through injuries and Andreas Christensen is an injury doubt. Valencia also have multiple absentees, with Jaume Domenech, Jose Gaya, Gabriel, Edinson Cavani, Nico Gonzalez and Marcos Andre all sidelined.
They top LaLiga on 62 points, 9 clear of second-placed Real Madrid who drew 0-0 at Betis later on Sunday. Valencia, who have won only one of their last 10 league matches, are second to last on 23 points.
The locals started strongly, led by Raphinha, who had a couple of early chances before nodding a header over the goalkeeper after a brilliant long pass by midfielder Sergio Busquets in the 15th minute.
Raphinha and Ansu Fati had opportunities to extend Barca’s lead but Valencia recovered from the early blow to dominate proceedings and could have levelled the game with Thierry Correia, Samuel Lino and Ilaix Moriba all missing clear chances.
Valencia came back from the halftime break in control but a handball by Hugo Guillamon inside the box gave Barcelona a golden opportunity to extend their lead in the 55th minute. It was wasted when Ferran Torres shot the penalty wide of the goal.
Five minutes later, however, they lost defender Ronald Araujo to a straight red card for a last-man foul on Hugo Duro and Barcelona struggled to hold their lead in the last 30 minutes.
Fran Perez, Jesus Vazquez and Yunus Musah had clear chances to equalise and Valencia players protested in vain over what they thought was a clear foul by Franck Kessie on Perez inside the penalty area in the 85th minute.
“We have suffered too much today,” Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez told Movistar Plus. “We have defended well after the red card but we should have scored the second before that.
“We have close games like this and we didn’t do it today due to the lack of effectiveness which meant we had to suffer until the end. It’s a growing experience.”
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com