Valencia – Barcelona
Valencia welcomes the champion Barcelona at the Mestalla in the big derby of the 21th round of Spanish La Liga. As usual, we will have a look in our La Liga predictions.
Let’s start with the visitors who are currently leaders in the standings, although with the same amount of points as the second Real Madrid. Barcelona already played two games under the management of the new head coach Quique Setien – against Granada in La Liga and against Ibiza in Copa del Rey. Los Cules won both games, but the team was far from convincing. Clearly Setien needs more time in order to make Barcelona play in the way he wants.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique all got some rest during the week, so they shall be fresh at the Mestalla on Saturday. In the absence of Messi and the injured Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann shined against Ibiza on Wednesday and saved Barca from a possible humilating result with two goals in the second half. Most likely Quique Setien will choose between Ansu Fati and Carlez Perez to replaced Luis Suarez on Saturday.
Valencia also had a game in Copa del Rey during the week. Los Che progressed in the competition after an away game against UD Logrones, which they won with a winning goal from the Uruguayan international Maxi Gomez.
In La Liga Valencia are still trying to improve their position in the standings. At this moment Los Che are 7th with 31 points, but the good news is that the 4th Sevilla is just 4 points away. This means that Valencia are still in the fight for a Champions League qualification, but they must reduce this gap.
In our La Liga predictions we can make the conclusion that Valencia and Barcelona are ready to offer us a great derby at the Mestalla on Saturday. The matches between these two teams are usually pretty intense, so we expect some good action.