Valencia and Barça challenge each other playing against the current

Valencia and Barça challenge each other playing against the current


Valencia CF receives FC Barcelona this Saturday at Mestalla (9:00 p.m.), in a match on matchday 16 of LaLiga EA Sports, in a duel to which both teams arrive needy and with the obligation, more than the will, to win to stop going against the current as both are in a slump of results and play.

'Ches' and 'culers' need the victory to be able to add 3 points that are very valuable right now. Valencia, which has achieved a draw and added three defeats in the last four games, wants to dispel ghosts and Barça, after falling to the leader Girona and stumbling in Europe, also seeks to get out of the rut and calm the turbulent waters of the Blaugrana environment.

After a General Meeting in which the president, Layhoon Chan, assured that signings could not be made in winter and that the club's priority is numbers and finally undertaking the construction of the new stadium, the waters of the Turia are somewhat troubled. And the bad sporting situation, with that only point added from the last 12 in LaLiga, does not help.

After beating Granada at home at the beginning of November, Valencia only knows victory in the second round of the Copa del Rey, with a brief 0-1 against Arosa. In LaLiga EA Sports, the 'che' were defeated by Real Madrid (5-1), Girona (2-1) and Getafe (1-0), adding a single point in Mestalla against another team in low hours like Celta from Vigo (0-0).

For this duel in which it is so necessary to recover the goal and the path to victory, Rubén Baraja will not be able to count on the suspended Gabriel Paulista or Javi Guerra, both sent off in the last defeat in Getafe. Furthermore, he confirmed that neither Gayà nor Almeida are recovered although, on the positive side, Selim Amallah will be back in the team.

“Barça is always dangerous. They are a team, they have all kinds of resources. They are an aggressive, intense team, they have speed and spread out on the wing. They have one against one. They are a very complete team, but we also have things to say and in Mestalla, more,” the 'Che' coach contributed in the preview, who does not look for excuses in the absences or in the lack of depth in the closet.

For his part, the Blaugrana coach, Xavi Hernández, described this Mestalla duel as “final.” “The defeats against Madrid and Girona are affecting us and are weighing on us, but there is time to solve it. We have to recover points no matter what. We now have a very difficult opponent, Baraja is doing an extraordinary job. They are now 1 point out of 12 and have lowered the level but at Mestalla they always push. It's difficult, it's a final for us,” he said before the match.

A final that he will face with Frenkie De Jong, already recovered from some discomfort that prevented him from being in Belgium. The Dutchman, who was the only one who did not finally travel with the team for the final match of the Champions' group stage against Antwerp (inconsequential 3-2 defeat), is now available for Xavi and will play in Mestalla.

In the absence of knowing whether or not after the setback in the 'Champions' they will make much of a revolution – which they already did in Antwerp with several changes -, the truth is that Barça must change their face and attitude to get out, from the first minute, convinced of achieving victory. The team has phases of good play, yes, but it also gets stuck too easily and gives opportunities to the rival that, last year, already with Xavi, they did not concede.

Xavi, who criticized the “unreality” that explains the media environment in Barcelona and regretted the lack of unity, assures that there is self-criticism in the team and that they see themselves with more strength and desire than ever. Something that they will try to transfer to a locker room that has just lost at home against Girona (2-4) and that is now fourth, 7 points behind the Gironins, the sole leaders.


Former Spanish international player David Silva will be honored this Saturday at Mestalla by Valencia CF, the club where he trained and played for before leaving for Manchester City in 2010, in the run-up to the match.

Among the planned events, the club will install a tarp outside the Camp de Mestalla along with those of the rest of the club's legends and David Silva will be the one to take the kick-off of the match.



VALENCY CF: Mamardashvili; Strap, Diakhaby, Mosquera, Yarek; Pepelu, Amallah; Foulquier, Diego Lopez, Fran Perez; and Hugo Duro.

FC BARCELONA: Iñaki Peña; Cancelo, Araujo, Christensen, Bucket; De Jong, Gundogan, Pedri; Lamine Yamal, Lewandowski and John Felix.

–REFEREE: Ortiz Arias (C. Madrid).

–STADIUM: Mestalla.

–TIME: 21.00/Movistar LaLiga TV.