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February 3, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
Estadio de Mestalla — Valencia
Referee:‬ José González‎
Attendance:‬ 45000‎
33′ Ever Banega
Messi 39′ (PG)

Valencia-Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants look to stretch Liga lead

The Blaugrana must guard against complacency as they look to build on an 11-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid in the Primera Division standings

By Karthick Arvinth

Cesc Fábregas | Real Madrid v Barcelona | Clásico
Getty Images


Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho
Albelda, T Costa
Piatti, Banega, Guardado

Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas

Pedro, Messi, Villa

Valencia forward Roberto Soldado has returned to training following a thigh injury and could start Sunday’s encounter against Barcelona at Mestalla.

However, Dani Parejo (hand) and Jonas (thigh) are unlikely to feature, while Nelson Valdez (calf) is a minor doubt.

Left-back Jeremy Mathieu has recovered from his ankle injury but will not be involved, while winger Sofiane Feghouli has returned from the Africa Cup of Nations and may start on the bench.

Barcelona welcome back Gerard Pique after he missed last weekend’s 5-1 win over Osasuna through suspension.

Striker Isaac Cuenca will play no part after he was loaned out to Ajax on transfer deadline day.

  • Valencia have won four of their last five Liga matches.
  • Los Che have lost their last three encounters against Barcelona by an aggregate score of 8-1.
  • Valencia’s last home win over Barca was a 3-2 success in the Copa del Rey in March 2008.
  • Barcelona have won just two of their last five games in all competitions.
  • With 71 goals scored in their 21 Liga matches, the Catalans possess the most potent attack in La Liga.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored in a record 11 consecutive Liga games.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 1, 2014 FC Barcelona 2 - Valencia CF 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 1, 2013 Valencia CF 2 - FC Barcelona 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 3, 2013 Valencia CF 1 - FC Barcelona 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 2, 2012 FC Barcelona 1 - Valencia CF 0
  • Player Ratings
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  • Play by Play
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 19, 2012 FC Barcelona 5 - Valencia CF 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
20Aly CissokhoDefender
4Adil RamiDefender
12João PereiraDefender
18Jose Andrés GuardadoMidfielder
5Víctor RuizDefender
20Ricardo CostaDefender
-Ever BanegaMidfielder
24Tino CostaMidfielder
14Juan BernatMidfielder
9Roberto SoldadoStriker
1Diego AlvesGoalkeeper
17Pablo PiattiStriker
18Haedo ValdézStriker
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
9David VillaStriker
9Alexis SánchezStriker
Players to Watch
Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 27-year-old striker was overlooked by Spain boss Vicente Eel Bosque this week, despite bagging 11 Liga goals in 19 appearances this season. With chances likely to be at a premium against Barcelona, Soldado’s return will provide a major boost to Valencia’s chances.
Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
15 0 7 1
The attack-minded left-back returns to Mestalla for the first time since making the high-profile switch to Barcelona last summer. Alba has proved to be a more than capable replacement for Eric Abidal and he will want to showcase his progress against his old club.

Barcelona played well against Real Madrid on Wednesday and will be in confident mood heading into the weekend. Valencia did well to beat Deportivo La Coruna after an erratic defensive display in the 5-0 hammering at the hands of Real, but they are weakened by the absence of some key personnel.

Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
17 0