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Two narrow wins may have calmed the nerves a little at Barcelona after a poor season so far by their standards (W6, D2, L4). The midweek win over Sociedad represented their fourth home league win in succession, and additionally marked Lionel Messi’s 300th all-time victory with Barcelona at Camp Nou.
The ‘Blaugranes’ have averaged exactly 3.00 goals per match across their current streak of four La Liga (LL) home wins, though they’ve won both halves just once therein. Barcelona also have the edge across the last ten LL H2Hs (W4, D4, L2), with three of those four wins seeing them lead by a one-goal margin at HT.
Also suffering from mixed form (W3, D5, L5), Valencia have conceded the first open-play goal in each of their last four LL matches to produce over 0.5 total goals. The last of those saw the teams exchange penalty goals, and Valencia’s last five LL games won/drawn have thus averaged 1.40 converted spot kicks (either way) per match.
The visitors are also without a win in four LL road trips (D2, L2), conceding first inside 20 minutes in all of the three matches producing over 0.5 goals, and specifically losing the first half 2-0 on two occasions. Across those three ‘Over 0.5’ matches, Valencia averaged 0.67 penalty goals against them in the opening 20 minutes of play!
Players to watch:
Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong was the decisive scorer in midweek – four of his last six goals have been second in the overall match order. Meanwhile, Carlos Soler made it six penalty goals this season in midweek, half of which have come during competitive matches standing 2-2 at (regular) FT.
Just three (6%) of Barcelona’s last 50 LL home H2Hs vs Valencia have seen them drop points in the second half.
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Will not play
Dembele O.(Muscle Injury) Cillessen J.(Muscle Injury)
Fati A.(Knee Injury) Gameiro K.(Thigh Injury)
Pique G.(Knee Injury) Guillamon Sanmartin H.(Muscle Injury)
Roberto S.(Thigh Injury) Lato T.(Illness)
Referee: Hernandez A. (Esp),
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona)