Ronald Koeman will be praying for all three points on Sunday when his Barcelona side welcome Valencia to a nervous and greatly concerned Camp Nou.
Unfortunately for the Dutch manager, his side are still without a number of key players and will have to make do with quick-fixes across the pitch.
Koeman will be without Ronald Araujo to injury and is likely to stick with a back four of Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique and Sergio Dest, with the safe hands of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen between the posts.
However, Pedri remains out injured, which will be a huge blow to Barca’s chances of taking all three points from Valencia this weekend. However, Koeman will be expecting a trio of Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Busquets and Gavi to make up for the Spaniard’s absence.
Also, Some good news comes in the form of Ansu Fati starting on the wing for Barca, with Memphis Depay on the opposing side and Luuk de Jong through the middle as the classic No.9, while Sergio Aguero remains out of action.
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Ansu Fati is tipped to make his first start for Barcelona since returning to full fitness. The Catalans have been in tatters during the period he was sidelined, underperforming in every competition while losing stars such as Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
However, with Fati back into the fray, Barca do have a ray of hope, especially with other youngsters like Pedri and Gavi also rising up the ranks, helping the club built its blueprint for the future.
The winger is unquestionably the most talented of the lot, notably announcing his return to the pitch with a goal against Levante. He couldn’t make much of a difference against Atletico Madrid, but from a starting position, the Spanish international will have the opportunity to get his season up and running, as the club’s number ten looks to follow on the legacy of his predecessor
How Barcelona could line up against Valencia
Barcelona 2-1 Valencia
This could prove to be a tight game as Valencia have looked a much more solid unit under Bordalas. Their opponent Barcelona are not in a great run of form either, often lacking answers going forward while looking very clumsy defensively.
But the return of Fati and potentially, Aguero, can serve as a much-needed morale booster for the Blaugrana, and combined with the added home support, we are expecting Barcelona to secure a narrow victory this weekend.
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