Can the league leaders extend their superb run of winning form in the league? Or will Valencia’s ability to stifle their opposition result in another draw for the visitors?
Barcelona have not tasted defeat in La Liga since October, when they fell short in a 4-3 thriller with Real Betis at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi scored two in that defeat, and leads La Liga’s scoring charts with 19 goals this campaign. Valencia took to twitter for some light hearted jokes surrounding the ‘spygate’ saga, where they sent their mascot to spy on Barcelona. He confirmed that Messi was, as they expected, rather good.
Supplemented by his supporting cast, Messi has been near to unstoppable this season. And even to call Suarez a member of the supporting cast is disrespectful towards his own exploits, the Uruguayan hit-man has found the net 15 times, nine of which have been at home.
The final prong of the Barcelona attack is Ousmane Dembele, who looks like a completely different player from the beginning of the season. After poor discipline and rumours of Barcelona trying to cut their losses and move him on, this version of Dembele is like having a new signing. Demonstrating why Barcelona spent so much on him; speed, technique and mesmerising skills, Valencia are going to have a serious task keeping him quiet.
The hosts have scored 36 times in front of their fans this season, even in their one defeat they still scored three times. Stats would suggest your chances of beating The Blaugrana rely on outscoring them. A tough ask for a Valencia side that have only mustered eight goals in their 10 away games this season.
Barcelona to win and over 2.5 goals is available at 1.57.
At a glance, Valencia are trundling along nicely this season. Sitting in seventh place, just five points off Sevilla in 4th place.
Valencia have accumulated 29 points this season from their 21 games. But despite this, and despite being where they are in the league they have actually won just six of their 21 games. Only the bottom three, Leganes and Girona have won less times in La Liga this campaign.
However, the visitors in this fixture have also only lost four games. This statistic is only bettered by Barcelona and Athletico Madrid. The theme of Valencia’s season has been draws, a lot of draws, and a distinct lack of goals in them.
Their fans may be hoping that things are beginning to take an upturn, they have won their last two league games, scoring five goals in the process. They also put three past Getafe in the Copa Del Ray on Tuesday night.
If you fancy Valencia to get on the score-sheet, you can back them to score one or more goals at 1.44. For a game more consistent with their season, a Barcelona win to nil is available at 2.6.
Valencia will take heart from the fact that both teams have scored in 62% of Barcelona’s games this campaign, this selection is priced at 1.57.
Rely on the hosts for goals
Barcelona have not been part of a goalless game this season, furthermore there has been over 1.5 goals in 95% of their matches, at home that statistic is 100%. On average, at home, Barcelona’s games feature 4.45 goals per match. Their consistency when it comes to scoring goals is remarkable, it has been impossible to silence them this season, and it isn’t feasible for Valencia to be the team to manage it.
On the whole, backing goals in Barcelona’s games is safe. With such an exceptional scoring record and one of the deadliest front three’s in the world, chances are always going to come.
Barcelona to score three or more goals is priced at 1.83.
Barcelona -2 @ 3.0
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.33
Luis Suarez to score first @ 3.5