After the last loss at home to Granada (1-2), the Barcelona will try to reconcile with himself to stay alive in the fight for LaLiga, this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. in Mestalla, in front of a Valencia irregular that still has not sealed the permanence in First.
The Barça faces the party against the team ‘che’ after blow hit this Thursday at the Camp Nou against Granada. The Catalans lost the opportunity to be leaders of LaLiga for the first time in the course and, now, they no longer depend on themselves to win the championship.
Beyond the wasted opportunity, Barça once again showed the Difficulty you have to close the games you start winning And, as happened in the victories against Villarreal (1-2) and Getafe (5-2), against Granada the Catalan team deflated again in the second half.
In the end, the Nasrids came back from the initial 1-0 of Leo Messi and they won at the Camp Nou for the first time. All this, enlivened with the expulsion of Barça coach, Ronald Koeman, for having said “what a character” to the fourth official. Against Valencia he will not be able to direct his players from the bench. At Mestalla, the assistant coach, Alfred Schreuder, will take his place. For this match, Barça will most likely start with a 3-5-2 game system, with three central centers and two wide lanes. In addition, after the defensive rotations against Granada, it is expected that this time the most rolled will play.
Thus, the lateral Sergiño Dest will return to the right lane and the central Clement Lenglet will return to the axis of the defense after the substitutions of both in the last game. The French defender will be accompanied by Gerard Piqué and Óscar Mingueza, while Jordi Alba will close the left lane. In the center of the field, the defensive pivot will fall to Sergio Busquets, who was the best of the team against Granada, and will be accompanied by the usual Frenkie de Jong and Pedri González.
The The pair up front will once again be made up of Leo Messi and Antoine Griezmann, which has won the title game to Ousmane Dembélé. On the offensive field, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho are out due to their long-term injuries, while Martin Braithwaite is doubtful after suffering a sprained ankle.
In any case, Koeman has four players warned penalty: Messi, De Jong, Griezmann and Mingueza. If any of them see a yellow card at the Mestalla, they will not be able to play the match on May 8 at the Camp Nou against Atlético de Madrid.
For its part, Valencia had salvation on track but In the last five games, Javi Gracia’s team has only been able to get three points, which has left him with a cushion of only six on the descent, an advantage too narrow with fifteen points left to be disputed to be able to be calm. To achieve salvation and to be able to avoid going through too much trouble, Valencia, which has six defeats and two draws in its last away games, clings to its strength in Mestalla, where after winning four games in a row, it now has two consecutive draws.
Last Sunday, a goal by José Luis Gayà with a couple of minutes remaining in the game allowed Valencia to rescue a point after Alavés had also advanced in the last section of the game. The meeting this Sunday could mean the comeback under the sticks of Jasper Cillessen after a little over a month injured after having suffered a sprain to his right knee. His return will mean the return to the bench of Jaume Doménech.
Right-hander Thierry Correia could also return after having overcome that same injury, although in the case of the Portuguese he would do so after having been away for just a couple of weeks. His returns are one of the unknowns of the meeting but not the only one, because coach Javi Gracia has tested this week in Paterna a drawing with five players on the defensive line, including Toni Lato as third center-back on the left side, a trivote in the center of the field and Gonçalo Guedes, very inspired in the last month as second striker and Maxi Gómez as a reference.
Valencia: Cillessen; Correia, Paulista, Guillamón, Lato, Gayà; Wass, Racic, Soler; Guedes and Maxi.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Óscar Mingueza, Gerard Piqué, Clement Lenglet; Dest, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Jordi Alba; Griezmann and Messi.
Referee: Sánchez Martínez (Extremadura school)
Hour: 21.00. (- 2 GMT)
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Posts: Valencia (14th – 36 points) – Barcelona (3rd – 71 points)
The key: The management of the nerves in Mestalla for the last results will be vital in both teams in their fight to achieve the objectives
The data: Valencia reaches six points from relegation and Barça two from the lead
Grace: “The situation is of necessity”
The environment: The locals have six games unbeaten at Mestalla but two draws in a row.