The race for the Serie A title is very close, especially with the two Spanish giants only separated by a goal difference. Barcelona will be looking to set themself free from the tie as they travel to the Mestalla Stadium to take on Valencia. The match is scheduled for 25th January with kickoff at 18:00 GMT.
Coach Setien started his stint as a manager with a win over side Granada. There is still a long way to go for the Catalans to retain the Serie A title, especially with fierce competition from rivals Los Blancos.
Valencia is currently 7th in the Serie A table with 31 points. The side has shown mixed results in the table while registering two wins, two draws, and one loss in their last five matches. It remains a doubt whether Celades can put up a spirited fight against the Catalans.
Valencia vs. Barcelona Head to Head
Both sides have met 37 times in the Serie A with Barcelona leading with 19 wins while Valencia with six wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Barcelona 5-2 Valencia
Barcelona 2-2 Valencia
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-1 Valencia
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 4-2 Valencia
Valencia 2-3 Barcelona
Barcelona 1-2 Valencia
Valencia Team News
Coach Celades will have to deal with the injury woes in the camp as he prepares a squad against the Catalans. Leading the injury line is center forward Rodrigo with a knee injury. Left-winger Manu Vallejo is out with a sprained ankle with also Goncalo Guedes also out with a sprained ankle. Right-back Cristiano Piccini has been out for a while with a fractured kneecap.
Barcelona Team News
The club recently announced the surgery of Suarez, which has ruled him out for four months. The club is rumored to be interested in a loan move for a striker to stand in for the post. There are many potential signings lined up for the Catalans.
Wigner Ousmane Dembele is still recovering from the hamstring injury with an expected return in January. The French International has been linked with a number of a potential summer move to Liverpool. Returning from injury is midfielder Arthur who is yet to start after coming from an injury.
Prediction and Odds
Barcelona has the upper hand, especially with the squad depth, even with the injury of Suarez. However, the history between the two sides has shown a heated clash to the nail. Even though Barcelona might take home the three points, it will not be that easy.
Goals Over 2.5
Messi to Score