This weekend will see a resurgent Los Che come up against a Barcelona side who have felt like they are in form for about a decade. This is one of the most intriguing La Liga matchups of the coming weeks, and will show us quite a lot about where both clubs are.
Valencia, as we’ve covered so far this reason, are a mess. Thankfully, the introduction of the wonderful Cesare Prandelli should go some way to helping the club get itself back in working order. Prandelli has had a mixed run in the game since his days in Florence, but he is a wonderful manager who could be a great add-on to the club.
Barcelona, though, fear nobody. They tend to create regular opportunities and also have a pretty extensive habit of winning even when they don’t play too well. Given that Valencia last beat Barcelona in April, though, the idea of another upset isn’t too out there. After all, Valencia were a bit of a shambles then too!
This game, though, will clearly detail to us the level of quality that both clubs possess at this moment in time. Valencia are on the up, slightly, having won three of their last six matches. Barcelona have the same record – the difference is that Barcelona are scoring more. With 26 goals in their league games so far compared to 11 for Valencia, it’s easy to see who is in the better form in front of goal coming into this one.
However, the home side need to appreciate that Barcelona will likely be tired after a midweek game against Manchester City. With this being the ‘easy’ match of the week for Barca, it will be interesting to see how they take this game. Valencia at present don’t offer the grandest of threats – so is there a chance that Barcelona might mess up?
The best chance of that happening is likely to be if Barcelona take their foot off the gas. Although they don’t mess up too often, the 4-3 loss to Celta Vigo recently told us all we need to know about Barcelona at times; brilliant up front, a bit mental at the back.
A Point to Prove
If Valencia can find the same inner belief, then they have a good chance of walking away from this with the three points. These are, of course, big ifs – we’ll have to wait and see.
The other interesting part of this game, though, is Paco Alcacer making his way back to the club that made him who he is in the first place. His move from Valencia in the summer was seen as brave as well as silly, but it will be interesting to see what the Mestalla makes of him.
Given their ability to turn on anyone, we don’t expect that Alcacer will get much of a welcome from his once adoring crowd. With that said, we expect that Barcelona will win this – 3-1 to the away side, with a bit of energy to spare. Valencia just do not come across as ready for this game.