Barcelona v Valencia – Betting Preview
Barcelona regained some positive vibes with a hard fought 1-0 win in the Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday evening against bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona’s spirits and confidence had taken a sizeable drop in the prior days. This when they followed up being knocked out of the Europa League with a drab showing and embarrassing 1-0 loss to Almeria on the weekend.
Barca have it all to lose now with a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga, but with no UEFA competition to add spice to the season.
A win sees them at least being able to maintain the seven-point lead at maintain the top of La Liga 2022/23. Anything less will be a major blow.
Looking at team news now, which will be a huge concern for Xavi.
Barcelona has some important absences which seriously weaken their overall strength for the visit of Valencia, in particular the offensive area.
Gavi is missing via a suspension and when this is combined with the injured trio of Lewandowski, Dembele and Pedri, it leaves a significantly less dangerous and potent Barcelona attack.
Furthermore, there is a concern over in form centre back Andreas Christensen, who looks unlikely to be risked after a knock on Thursday.
Alonso will start and Kounde shuffles into centre defence.
The form and confidence received a much-needed boost with their hard fought win over Real Sociedad last weekend.
The squad put in a very strong showing in the managerial home debut of Baraja, and there is real hope that is the platform to push on and get them out and away from the drop zone.
Valencia has no pressure on them in this fixture, but would see this as a great time to travel and face Barca.
And with this in mind, they will not rule themselves out from winning the game, although a point is also a good result.
Valencia visits the Camp Nou without Gabriel Paulista, Jaume Doménech, José Luis Gaya, Cavani, and Marcos André.
The one most important of those is attacking left back Jose Gaya, a key player and one of the better ones this season. He is also seen as an important vocal player in the dressing room. Toni Lato will replace him, a good attacking player but not as a good defensively.
On top of those absences listed, Rubén Baraja cannot yet lean on Nico González as his loan contract from Barcelona denies him being able to face them.
The boss was delighted with the performance and 1-0 win over Sociedad last weekend, so he will make limited unforced moves.
There is the obliged move in the defence with strong defender Gabriel Paulista missing, Cömert gets the nod centrally.
In some positive news, Thierry is nearing 100% fitness and is an option on the flanks. Foulquier picked up a minor knock midweek but should be cleared to start.
Looking at the 1×2 market first. Barcelona is an odds on shot @ 1.52 to win. This could drift slightly before kick off when punters realise how massive the absences are for the jolly. I would not consider betting them at this price for a second.
Valencia to win is @ 6.50 while the draw is @ 4.35.
Moving onto the Asian handicap betting for this contest. Barcelona is seriously weakened due to absences and fatigued too, after a hard-fought battle in the Bernabeu on Thursday.
The handicap is -1 for the host Barcelona @ 1.87. with Valencia getting the goal start +1 @ 1.99. Easy pass on this market.
Looking at The Under/Over goal betting last of all, where the line is set at 2.5.
Over is @ 1.80 while the Under is @ 1.95. Valencia will come to frustrate and Barcelona, with serious reductions in attacking areas, would settle for 1-0. Unless Valencia score first I expect this to be an under game.