Barcelona will be keen to return to winning ways when they take on Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday night.
The Catalans are currently sitting fourth in the La Liga table, while Ruben Baraja’s side have dropped into the bottom half following their recent poor results.
Valencia have been struggling for form in recent weeks, with the Spanish outfit winless in their previous five league matches.
They have picked up just one point from their last four top-flight games, scoring only two goals while conceding eight in the process.
Los Ches will enter Sunday’s clash on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Getafe last week.
It was a feisty affair at the Estadio Coliseum with the league encounter marked by three red cards.
Gabriel Paulista, Javi Guerra and Domingos Duarte all received their marching orders, but the home side emerged with maximum points after Borja Mayoral’s winner in the 87th-minute.
On the other hand, Barcelona slumped to their second defeat in all competitions as they lost 3-2 to Royal Antwerp in their final Champions League group match.
Despite the result, the Catalans finished at the top of Group H ahead of Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Xavi’s side will now turn their focus to La Liga fixtures, where they suffered a big blow to their title hopes last weekend after losing 4-2 to Girona.
The White and Reds outplayed their opponents and deservedly sealed victory to establish a two-point lead at the top of the La Liga standings.
Artem Dovbyk, Miguel Gutierrez, Valery Fernandez and Cristhian Stuani were all on target for the visitors as they registered their first ever league win over the Catalans.
Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan served as small consolations for Barca as they fell seven points behind the league leaders.
Xavi made a big impact in his first full season at Camp Nou, leading the Blaugrana to the La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana trophies.
The Spanish boss was expected to build on that success but their performances this campaign suggest they are unlikely to win a major trophy.
Valencia will not be able to avail the services of Gabriel Paulista and Javi Guerra, who are both suspended due to the red cards they received last week. Meanwhile, Jose Gaya will also be missing, with the availability of Andre Almeida doubtful.
As for Barcelona, Frenkie de Jong is likely to return after illness, but Inigo Martinez, Gavi, Marcos Alonso and Marc-Andre ter Stegen will all remain sidelined due to fitness issues.
Valencia vs Barcelona potential line-ups
Valencia: Mamardashvili; Correia, Mosquera, Diakhaby, Gasiorowski; Foulquier, Guillamon, Pepelu, Perez; Lopez, Duro
Barcelona: Pena; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Cancelo; Pedri, De Jong, Gundogan; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Felix
Valencia vs Barcelona prediction
Barcelona will be fully motivated to return to winning ways following their recent disappointing results. Xavi has some of the best players in his team, and though Saturday’s clash is unlikely to be a one-sided affair, we are backing the Catalans to prevail in the end.
Valencia 1-2 Barcelona
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