FC Barcelona faces Valencia CF at the Mestalla Stadium on Sunday, tonight, in what seems to be a “must-win” fixture for the Catalans after their tragic, yet unnecessary 2-1 loss to Granada, in La Liga this week.
The disappointment against Granada was brutal not just for us cules, but it also left a devastating effect on the players mentally to see through the campaign ahead. Since then, Real & Atlético Madrid have both pounced back securing their three points respectively which now deems tonight’s Valencia fixture to be extremely crucial for Barça if they want to thrive in the title race ahead.
Koeman’s 23-man squad has travelled to Mestalla for a crucial away game against Valencia tonight. Also, to mention, with the Dutch manager being banned for the next two games following the Granada loss this week, we won’t get to see him on the touchline as he serves his first ban tonight, against Valencia CF. So it would be interesting how the tactics play out from the start but more importantly in the final minutes.
Lenglet was rested for the last match so his presence is preordained in the starting lineup tonight, alongside Piqué & Mingueza in a back 3 or perhaps a back four with Alba on the left. Personally, a 3-5-2 sounds better as it has worked well for us offensively but considering Koeman’s absence tonight the team might prefer to stick with a rigid back four as well. Dest deserves to start, for he has done a fair job defensively & also in playing down the flanks this season, unlike Roberto who’s misplaced endless crosses in the final third over the last 2 games.
Pedri, De Jong & Busquets will most likely start & will have an important role to move the ball ahead. Upfront with Messi & Griezmann, this looks to be our ideal line-up to go against Valencia tonight. Finishing is the only quality we have lacked, almost throughout the season. Like we say, a bad defence can always be stitched back with cynical finishing. Tonight, the goals have to be precise & clinical. Period.
As far as Valencia is concerned, I don’t find them as a real threat for us after studying their form this season. Honestly, they have always been a well-balanced team ranking in the top five every season but this season has been terrible, mediocre & full of suffering, with no wins in their last 5 matches under their new manager Javi García. But, it’s still Valencia CF, away at the Mestalla. And knowing that the pressure on Barça to win the game would be serious, they will be giving their best to hinder the Catalan’s campaign trail ahead.
Goals are bound to come from both sides. It will be a truly daunting fixture, but I will go with a 3-1 confident win for FC Barcelona tonight.