Barcelona will look to ride the wave of the Copa del Rey semi final first leg victory over Real Madrid when they host La Liga strugglers Valencia on Sunday afternoon.
Eder Militao’s own goal gave Xavi’s side victory and kept them on course for a domestic treble having already won the Supercopa de Espana in January.
Barça are seven points clear at the top of Spain’s top flight and 36 ahead of next challengers Valencia. The club is in disarray and a shadow of the side that won La Liga and reached consecutive UEFA Champions League finals in the 2000s.
Barcelona team news
Manager Xavi will not be on the sidelines as he is suspended following a booking for touchline protestations in the loss at Almeria. Assistants Oscar Hernandez and Sergio Alegre will take charge at the weekend.
Midfielder Gavi will also not be available due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Robert Lewandowski missed the Clasico defeat with a hamstring strain and likely won’t be available on Sunday. That could see Ferran Torres played in a central role again while Ansu Fati could play out wide.
Barcelona predicted lineup vs Valencia
Barcelona predicted lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Kessie; Raphinha, Torres, Fati.
Valencia team news
Valencia managed to break a run of six consecutive defeats – five coming in La Liga – in their most recent outing when they beat Real Sociedad 1-0.
Midfielder Nico is out for a few months with a knee injury and wouldn’t have been able to play against his parent club anyway, while top sorer Edinson Cavani also sidelined.
20-year-old Yunus Musah has attracted admiring glances from around European clubs for the last few years and will have another opportunity to showcase his talent here.
Valencia predicted lineup vs Barcelona
Valencia predicted lineup (4-3-3): Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Lato; Musah, Guillamon, Almeida; Castillejo, Duro, Lino.