translated from Spanish: Barcelona for a win over Valencia to stay alive

Barcelona, Spain.- Barcelona is only worth taking the three points on Valencia’s visit to Camp Nou, this Saturday, if it wants to get back in the fight for the leadership of LaLiga Santander, in front of a rival full of doubts, who accumulates four days without victory. After beating Real Sociedad (2-1) on Wednesday, the Azulgranas cut distances in the standings and now face the clash against Valencia six points from the top spot, shared between the txuri-urdin team, Atletico and Real Madrid, who are tied with the same 26 points.
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Barcelona wants to further congest the title fight by chaining their third consecutive victory in LaLiga to Valencia, and re-exhibiting the good game it showed against the Real, after the doubts that had generated the timid victory against the Levant (1-0) and the stumble of Cadiz (2-1).

To maintain the best version of the team, it is likely that the blue-rated technician, Ronald Koeman, will bet again on midfielder Pedri González as a companion to Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets in the medular. Moreover, taking into account the young Canary’s outstanding performance against the unknown Real.La is whether midfielder Phillipe Coutinho will return to the starting XI, albeit as an extreme in the lead, alongside fixed Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. If Koeman still doesn’t trust Coutinho, martin Braithwaite is most predictably the one who shuts down the Azulgrana attack. In defence, the question is whether the central Clement Lenglet will return to face Valencia after being relegated in the eleven by the canterano Oscar Mingueza in duel against the Royal. With the long-term casualties of Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto, Koeman will repeat with Ronald Araújo on the axle and Sergiño Dest on the right side.

Lionel Messi during Barcelona’s match against Real Sociedad/EFE

Valencia arrives at this event with the bittersweet taste and consequent doubts left by its classification in the overtime for the second round of the Copa del Rey in the field of a Terrassa that despite military in Third dominated him at pleasure many minutes and missed occasions that could sentence him. The inconsistency shown has heightened concerns about the strength of a team that accumulates four days without winning in the League but at the same time knows how to hold on to the matches and does not get carried away with the first adversities.
Another point that Valencia clings to for this complicated visit is that in the big matches it has shown so far a good level. He surprised Real Madrid with a 4-1 boosted by the three penalties he had in favor and knew how to stop Atletico Madrid for many minutes, although he was ultimately unable to avoid the 0–1 defeat.The three points added from the last twelve possible keep the team in no man’s land, somewhat closer to relegation, from which he is separated by three points, which from the European zone, which is now four.

However, the match in Terrassa confirmed the idea that Gracia can make few variations on her eleven ‘type’ without the team level resenting it. Therefore, the main change that is expected will be the recovery of José Luis Gayo, whose absence from a muscle injury has weighed in the last three shocks.
The other good news for the Navarrese technician is that he will be able to count on Maxi Gómez who gave rest in the Cup to try to minimize his discomfort in the knee and that this commitment was not lost. Among the doubts is Gabriel Paulista’s companion at the center of the defense but it seems that Hugo Gui’s physical problems and Eliaquim Mangala’s irregularity give Mouctar Diakhaby more choice than his compatriot. In attack, Gonoalo Guedes, Denis Cheryshev and Manu Vallejo will split two spots.

Original source in Spanish

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