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Valencia vs Barcelona Preview

February 3 2013 By Mike Gonçalves
One win in their last four visits to the Mestalla will have Barcelona wanting to get the full three points on Sunday against Valencia

The Mestalla has not been a great place for Barcelona as of late. From their last 10 visits in all competitions, the Blaugrana have only managed three victories, three defeats and four draws.

Sunday, Tito Vilanova's side will have to put their 1-1 draw against Real Madrid behind them and focus on grabbing their first win at the Mestalla since their 0-1 victory in March of 2011, thanks to a 77th minute goal from Lionel Messi.

Ernesto Valverde's side has been in good form as of late, having won five of their last six matches in the domestic league. Their one defeat came at the hands of Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho's side defeating Los Che 0-5 at the Mestalla.

 

Barcelona will make one change to their list of available players with Montoya taking the place of Marc Bartra.

Other than that, Vilanova will also most likely opt to make a few changes to the starting XI that featured mid-week against Real Madrid.

Jose Manuel Pinto will certainly make way for Victor Valdes in goal, while Gerard Pique will return after having sat out due to a one match suspension.

Valencia's manager will have a tougher decision to make ahead of Sunday's match. 

It was reported that Ever Banega showed up to practice late and drunk, leaving Valverde with a tough decision to make. Will he choose to bench the midfielder as a form of punishment?

 

Previous Matches

09-02-12 Barcelona 1-0 Valencia

02-19-12 Barcelona 5-1 Valencia

02-08-12 Barcelona 2-0 Valencia (Copa del Rey)

02-01-12 Valencia 1-1 Barcelona (Copa del Rey)

09-21-11 Valencia 2-2 Barcelona

03-02-11 Valencia 0-1 Barcelona

 

Prediction

The last meeting between these two sides was decided with a brilliant strike from Adriano, which was enough to give the Blaugrana the full three points. The chances of that happening on Sunday are very slim, but regardless, Barcelona is in for another tough match at the Mestalla.

Barcelona generally struggles when they visit the Mestalla, so Sunday should not be much different. Although they may struggle does not mean they will not win, but if they are to win, it will most likely not come easy.

Valencia's current form should give them a better chance on Sunday and if they take a look at their recent success at home against Barcelona, they will know how important this match is.

Both sides have enough talent to pull off a victory, but it is more than obvious that Barcelona has the better odds. Although they can, or most likely will struggle, Barcelona should be able to take home the full three points on Sunday.

Valencia 1-3 Barcelona

Valencia vs Barcelona

Date/Time: Feb 3, 201313:00
Competition: Spain La Liga
Venue: Estadio de Mestalla (Valencia)

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