Valencia Vs Barcelona: Will Blaugranas maintain the reaction they gave against Spurs?
Barcelona lost seven points in their last three La Liga games. it’s unacceptable even if they lose it playing against Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, or any other La Liga clubs who you think fits in top four. But, they lose it against 11th place Girona, 15th place Athletic Bilbao, and 20th placed Leganes. It was completely unacceptable from the defending champion. They needed a strong reaction and they gave it against Tottenham Hotspur in UEFA Champions League midweek fixture, but the question is: Will Blaugranas maintain the same reaction against Valencia which they gave against Spurs?
I guess playing in Champions League is lot more easier for Barcelona than playing in La Liga right now. They score four goals in each Champions League match, whether they are playing home or away, but they lose four points out of possible six at home in La Liga.
Girona and Athletic Bilbao, each earned a point at Camp Nou which is highly unlikely for any visiting team at Camp Nou. Barcelona need a strong reaction playing away in the league to arouse fear back in the teams visiting Camp Nou.
😍 No better way to start this Saturday than with these two Messi goals! Happy weekend, Barça Fans! 🙌🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/rgsfC0IbCN
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 6, 2018
Valencia will test them first. Marcelino side hasn’t been poor this season. They were only lacking results after starting with a defeat and five draws. Los Che got that victory playing away against Real Sociedad last week. It must have given them more confidence to face Barcelona and it got strengthened playing a 0-0 draw against Manchester United in their away Champions League fixture.
They are defensively solid. Only Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, and Villarreal have conceded lesser goals than Valencia. Ezequiel Garay and Gabriel Paulista has shown some solidarity as a centre-back pairing, and Jose Gaya & Cristiano Piccini is showing their strength respectively as left-back and right-back.
Geoffrey Kondogbia is solid as a central midfielder and Daniel Wass, Dani Parejo, Carlos Soler, Goncalo Guedes, and Denis Cheryshev give them lot of options in midfield. Rodrigo, Mitchy Batshuayi, Santi Mina, and Kevin Gameiro also give them lots of string options and it’s matter of time before they start clicking together.
Their scoring ability is a real problem. They have scored only five goals in seven outings in the league and adding their Champions League games it makes 5 in 9 games. Barcelona defensive fragility must not become a scapegoat for them.
It’s going to be a big test for Barcelona to maintain the reaction they gave against Tottenham Hotspur. A victory for them is much more important in La Liga than in a Champions League. Before Barcelona will enter on the pitch at Mestalla; Real Madrid, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid or Real Betis could be ahead of them on La Liga points table.
Barcelona need a strong reaction against Valencia to maintain their lead at the top. However, Catalans haven’t registered a very big defeat against Los Che in recent times. They have emerged victorious but it has been marginal victory.
Right now, Barcelona can’t take risk of marginal victory. They know they are not in good shape defensively. One mistake can lead to conceding a goal and one or two goals won’t be enough for them. And, to be honest, we can’t expect Barcelona to perform at the highest level after playing such a high tempo game against Spurs in midweek.
— khaled rabie (@Khaled_Rabi3) October 6, 2018
Lionel Messi must be exhausted after his enthralling performance at Wembley. Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez have little injury worries as well, and Ernesto Valverde’s rotation policy hasn’t come into effect. His squad rotation has been disastrous up till now.
We expect a strong Barcelona lineup to maintain the reaction they gave against Spurs. It’s only one game before players go on to international break. Valverde must not shy away from using his best playing XI.
Ter Stegen is undoubtedly their shot-stopper and they haven’t got any backup of left-back Jordi Alba. Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti are injury doubts, so Gerard Pique and Nelson Semedo role become important as well. Clement Lenglet is expected to start as a centre-back pairing alongside Pique.
Midfield is where Barcelona have too many options and players are not happy sitting out. I guess Arturo Vidal will get a place in the lineup alongside Arthur Melo and Ivan Rakitic. Sergio Busquets should be rested who got a knock against Spurs.
No way Coutinho is going to play in midfield despite Ousmane Dembele’s strong start of the campaign. Dembele has scored but he has given the ball away during a buildup too many times. Valverde trust was already lacking in him and now he’s not top priority in pecking order.
We expect Coutinho, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez to start in forward line. Suarez might have little injury worries, but he even able to fulfill the role of playing dummy ball, it’s good enough to give him a place in playing XI instead of Munir El Haddadi.
This is very important game for Barcelona. They would love to sit at the top of the table before they go on international break and for that they need to give a strong reaction against Valencia. However, it looks difficult but Blaugranas will have to continue with their momentum they have gained from Spurs game.