Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona : Predicted lineups
FC Barcelona reaches Mestalla tomorrow looking forward to extending their run of incredible form with an eighth successive victory in all sort of competitions, as they get ready to take on Valencia CF in Saturday evening’s kick-off. Of course, unless lately you’ve been living under a rock, you might have heard in the news that Valencia have appointed a new manager, former Manchester United superstar turned pundit, Gary Neville himself this past week.
With the match scheduled for the evening, Luis Enrique named his side for the trip to Valencia today, without much of surprises. The injured Sergi Roberto, Jeremy Mathieu, and of course long-term absentees like Rafinha Alcantara and Douglas all sit out; however Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been enjoying his recovery from the knee injury to make it to the squad. Similarly, there is good news as Sergi Samper remains with the squad, rather than returning to the B team after his midweek appearance.
What that implies in practice, is that Barcelona are predictable to start with a rather strong line-up – arguably their prime eleven for this trip. Claudio Bravo will start in goal of course, and he will be aiming to ensure his fifth successive clean sheet, following results against Getafe CF, Villarreal CF, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad. During that period, Barcelona have netted 13 goals without reply; only including to their current aura of invincibility.
Gary Neville has made the headlines, and hopefully will do a decent job in charge at the Mestalla, although to be honest, any coach would likely be able to improve upon Nuno’s display this season. Los Che have just been way too inconsistent this season and as they’re only five points off a UEFA Champions League qualification spot, their present standing in ninth place must be well below their intended target.
FC Barcelona (4-3-3): Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Neymar, Messi, Suarez
CF Valencia (4-2-3-1): Jaume; Vezo, Abdennour, Santos, Gaya; Perez, Parejo; Bakkali, Piatti, Mina; Alcacer