Match Preview: FC Barcelona v Valencia

Leo Messi playing against Valencia last season at Camp Nou / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Luis Enrique’s side take on one of the most in-form clubs in the First Division in a vital league clash that rounds off a week that has seen the blaugranes draw in Seville and claim victory in Paris

After consecutive away games in Seville and in Paris, Luis Enrique’s team return to Camp Nou for the third of a trio of testing fixtures in just under seven days. Nuno Santo’s Valencia are the visitors in the league in a match that kicks off at 4.00pm CET on Saturday. Barça saw their lead at the top of the league table cut to two points last weekend when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla in Andalusia. Nevertheless, the blaugranes bounced back to record a superb 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final and now they will be looking to move one step closer to the league title with a victory over an in form rival.

Team news

The blaugranes trained on Thursday and Friday following their return from Paris. Andrés Iniesta is almost certain to miss out after picking up a pelvic injury in the victory over Paris Saint-Germain. Dani Alves missed that game through suspension but he could return to the squad for Saturday’s clash with Valencia if he can shrug off an ankle problem. Luis Enrique will name his squad for the game on the morning of the match.

Nuno Santo has named an 18 man squad for Valencia’s trip to Camp Nou. The coach welcomes back teenage defender José Gayà after two matches out with a hamstring problem and Nicolás Otamendi also returns after sitting out the 3-0 win in the city derby against Levante last weekend due to suspension. Argentineans Pablo Piatti and Enzo Pérez are still missing due to injury,

Coaches’ viewpoint

Barça coach Luis Enrique made a plea for a packed Camp Nou to help his side in the league clash with Valencia: “It is a key game and we need to have 90,000 or 100,000 fans who can make Camp Nou rumble.” The blaugrana boss was also fulsome in his praise for Saturday’s rivals Valencia: “Their team dynamics are spectacular. They’re very hard working and very hard to beat and, without a doubt,one of the best teams in the league.”

Luis Enrique’s opposite number Nuno Santo sees the trip to take on the league leaders as “..a challenge. We are up against a great team, with great quality, but we are going there with ambition to compete and challenge.”

Form guide

The blaugranes have lost just once since the league defeat against Real Sociedad in Anoeta back in early January. Barça have won 12 of their last 14 matches in the league, losing to Málaga and drawing with Sevilla the only times they have failed to pick up all three points. Valencia are also in good form with Nuno Santo’s team on a 10 game unbeaten run in the league which has seen them rise to fourth place in the table. The last team to beat Barça’s opponents on Saturday in the league was Málaga back on 2 February. After successive draws against Villarreal and Athletic, los ché got back to winning ways last weekend with a win in the Valencian city derby against Levante.

History

Last season Valencia won 3-2 at Camp Nou in the league, ending a run of six consecutive defeats away at FC Barcelona. Blaugrana defender Jérémy Mathieu was in the Valencia side that day. Earlier this season, Sergio Busquets’ late goal gave Barça a vital 1-0 win in the league at Mestalla.

Coverage

No matter where you are in the world we have you covered. And remember, you can enjoy live commentary in English on Radio Barça. The link will appear at fcbarcelona.com just before kick-off. Twitter users can follow @FCBarcelona for a liv

When and where to watch FC Barcelona v Valencia

Jordi Alba, in the match against Valencia at Mestalla/ MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
We offer you a guide to kick-off times and TV channels around the world for Saturday’s league match

The league game between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF will be shown on a multitude of TV channels worldwide — however, if it is not being shown in your country do not worry because you can always follow it from anywhere in the world with LIVE English commentary on Radio Barça. Remember, on the Club’s website you can follow minute-by-minute coverage of the game as well as team and player statistics.

Saturday 18 April 2015

Los Angeles – 7:00 AM (PST) / New York – 10:00 AM (EST)

beIN Sports en Español, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN Sports USA, Fubo TV, SiriusXM FC

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona and www.fcbarcelona.com

Brazil – 11:00 AM (Brasília)

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_br and www.fcbarcelona.com.br

Latin America – Buenos Aires 11:00 AM / Santiago Chile 11:00 AM / Mexico DF 9:00 AM

DIRECTV Play Latin America, DIRECTV Argentina, DIRECTV Chile, Blue To Go Video Everywhere, Planeta Fútbol, Sky Mexico

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_es and www.fcbarcelona.es

United Kingdom – 3:00 PM

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona and www.fcbarcelona.com

France – 4:00 PM (CET)

beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN Sports 2

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_fra and www.fcbarcelona.fr

Barcelona – 4:00 PM (CET)

GOL T, Canal+ Liga / HD, C+ Liga Multi, Gol Stadium, Movistar TV Fútbol, Canal+ Yomvi

FCBarcelona: www.fcbarcelona.cat, www.fcbarcelona.es, @fcbarcelona_cat and @fcbarcelona_es

Arab Countries – 5:00 PM (Mecca Time)

beIN Sports Arabia 2 HD, beIN Sports Arabia 14 HD, beIN Sports Arabia 16 HD, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Arabia

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_ara and www.fcbarab.com

Russia – 5:00 PM (MSK)

NTV+ Football 3, Setanta Sports Eurasia, NTV+ Sport Online

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona and www.fcbarcelona.com

India – 7:30 PM (IST)

Star Sports 1 Asia, Star Sports HD 1 Asia

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona and www.fcbarcelona.com

Indonesia – 9:00 PM (WIB)

Fox Sports 2 Indonesia, RCTI – Indonesia, Fox Sports 2 Cambodia, Orange TV Indonesia

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_id and www.fcbarcelona.co.id

China – 10:00 PM (CST)

Guangdong Sports Channel, LeTV, PPLive, QQ Sports Live, Sina Sports, Star Sports 2 China

FC Barcelona: Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo and  www.fcbarcelona.cn

Japan – 11:00 PM (JST)

WOWOW, SKY PerfecTV LIVE

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona_jap and www.fcbarcelona.jp

Sunday 19 April 2015

Australia – 0:00 AM (Sydney)

Fox Sports 3 Australia, Foxtel Play

FC Barcelona: @fcbarcelona and www.fcbarcelona.com.

 

                                                                                                                     *Source: Live Soccer.tv

Luis Enrique pleads for packed Camp Nou

Luis Enrique heads to the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Friday 17 April 2015. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça coach calls for fan support for Saturday’s league clash with Valencia

Iniesta out

Luis Enrique talked about the physical fitness of Andrés Iniesta following Iniesta’s injury on Tuesday: “Iniesta is much better, but he didn’t train and, in the absence of a miracle, he won’t be on the squad”.

FC Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique knows there is little margin for error in La Liga and that the game this Saturday against Valencia will be no easy task: “Our rivals are on a very good run and it’s important that Camp Nou is bursting with our supporters and that they get behind us on every play.”

In Friday’s press conference Luis Enrique emphasised that he wants to see the unconditional support of the fans: “It is a key game and we need to have 90,000 or 100,000 fans who can make Camp Nou rumble.”

Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say:

Valencia’s streak

“Their team dynamics are spectacular. They’re very hard working and very hard to beat and, without a doubt, one of the best teams in the league.

I am not surprised by their play from beginning of the season, especially with the players they have. They’re in fourth place on merit.”

“They only play one game a week, but every team would love to be playing three games a week. We have to recover as quickly as possible and face all our matches.

Positive vibes

If there is a climate of euphoria among fans it’s because they have seen what the team can do. If it’s true, then come tomorrow at 4.00pm and make Camp Nou rock ‘n roll.

I still have positive vibes, the same as on the very first day. Now that we’re closer to the end of the season, I still feel the same way.

Mentally we’re focused because of who our rivals are. But physically, it shows a little. Even I’m tired, and I haven’t played a single minute. We need the support of the fans more than ever to play like a team.”

FC Barcelona are focused on Valencia

Marc Bartra and Leo Messi take part in drills at the Ciutat Esportiva on Friday morning. / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Dani Alves trains without medical clearance as team continue prepping for Saturday

FC Barcelona continued preparing for Saturday’s game against Valencia with a full-squad workout at the Ciutat Esportiva. Wing back Dani Alves worked out normally despite not yet having been cleared. Thomas Vermaelen did part of hisworkout with the group and Andrés Iniesta did individual work.

Saturday’s league game against Valenciais set for 4.00pm CET at Camp Nou.