Follow all the action from Mestalla
Valencia welcome Barcelona to Mestalla this Sunday afternoon in LaLiga Santander, as Jose Bordalas‘ side look to throw a spanner in the works of the progress made by the Blaugrana under Xavi Hernandez. Saturday’s results have left Barcelona in sixth place, albeit with two games in hand, but a win today could see them return to fourth. Stay with us for all the build-up to Valencia vs Barcelona, followed by the match itself.
This is the start of our Valencia vs Barcelona live blog, with updates from this LaLiga Santander fixture following on from here. As always, the entries nearest the top are the most recent ones.
Barcelona cruise to victory at Mestalla thanks to two Aubameyang goals and one apiece for Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.
Bryan feeds the ball through to Hugo Duro who takes on Araujo before arrowing a short towards the far corner but it deflects wide.
Only just having come off the bench, Pedri unleashes a rifle from outside the box which swerves en route to nestling into the back of the net.
Soler attempts a strike from the edge of the box but it goes just wide of the post.
This time, Soler has his goal. A fine ball from Bryan Gil is headered powerfully by Soler to give Valencia a glimmer of hope.
It’s been a frantic first period at Mestalla, with Barcelona running away with a three-goal lead.
Soler thinks he’s narrowed the deficit for Valencia with a scissors kick, but replays show that the ball went out of play in the build up and it’s ruled out.
It’s 3-0 for Barcelona. A fine passing move culminates with Gavi playing the ball across goal for Ayubameyang who taps it in from close range.
Dembele plays the ball across goal and De Jong has the easy task of tapping the ball in the net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Gaya is played in down the left and strikes the ball at Ter Stegen who palms it into the net, but thankfully for Barcelona and the German, it was offside.
Jordi Alba plays a fine ball over the top for Aubameyang who curls the ball expertly into the near corner for his first ever Barcelona goal.
Ferran strikes the ball across goal, between defenders and goalkeeper, and an outstretched Aubameyang is inches away from connecting.
It’s a quiet start from both sides as they size each other up early on.
Valencia have got the action underway at Mestalla. Stay with us for updates from Valencia vs Barcelona.
Ilaix Moriba left Barcelona in controversial circumstances last summer, joining RB Leipzig for 16 million euros, but he barely played in his first six months at the club and signed for Valencia on loan in the January transfer window. Today, he is in Los Che’s starting line-up against his former side.
Valencia’s starting line-up (4-4-2): Giorgi Mamardashvili; Dimitri Foulquier, Omar Alderete, Mouctar Diakhaby, Jose Luis Gaya; Carlos Soler, Hugo Guillamon, Ilaix Moriba, Bryan Gil; Goncalo Guedes, Hugo Duro.
Barcelona’s starting line-up (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Gavi; Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres.
The Valencia fans are out in full force to welcome their team, with the team bus going past supporters on its way to Mestalla.
The conditions look fantastic at Mestalla ahead of today’s game between Valencia and Barcelona, which gets underway in two hours’ time.
Barcelona came from behind to beat Valencia 3-1 at the Camp Nou this season, with Jose Luis Gaya giving Los Che the lead in the fifth minute before Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho got on the scoresheet. Of Barcelona’s three goalscorers, two are injured in Ansu and Memphis, while one is no longer at the club in Coutinho.
Valencia will have to do without the injured Jasper Cillessen and Gabriel Paulista, though that’s as far as their injury concerns go this weekend. Ilaix Moriba could well feature against the club he left so controversially last summer.
Dani Alves and Gerard Pique are both suspended for Barcelona, with a number of others either out or doubtful though injury.
Valencia’s predicted line-up (4-4-2): Giorgi Mamardashvili; Thierry Correia, Eray Comert, Mouctar Diakhaby, Jose Luis Gaya; Dimitri Foulquier, Carlos Soler, Ilaix Moriba, Bryan Gil; Goncalo Guedes, Hugo Duro.
Barcelona’s predicted line-up (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Adama Traore, Ferran Torres, Gavi.
Valencia vs Barcelona kicks off on Sunday, February 20 at 16:15 CET, the local time in Spain. Fans in the United Kingdom can tune in to find the game at 15:15 GMT, making it an 10:15 ET and 07:15 start in the United States.
Valencia vs Barcelona will be shown on LaLigaTV for UK-based fans. LaLiga Santander fans in the US can find the game live on ESPN+.
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