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Valencia host Barcelona at the Mestalla Stadium on Sunday evening, kicking off at 8:45pm local time. Valencia were only able to record their first win of the season last weekend, but will fancy themselves against a Barcelona side who has hit a poor run of form in La Liga.

Home Team: Valencia

After an impressive season in La Liga last year, Valencia managed to turn back the clock a few years and produce some fine form which made them finish fourth last season to qualify for this season’s Champions League. Their excellent start to the season made them Barcelona’s closest challengers throughout the early part of the season, as they were sat in 2nd place until mid-December, and were 10 minutes away from beating Barcelona in that fantastic run of form. However, they managed to drop their form over the end of December and January which all but ended their shot of pursuing a title challenge. Valencia then had only won two of their last seven matches in the campaign, and have only won one in their first seven matches of this campaign meaning they have won only three matches in their last 14. The club currently sit in 15th position, having drawn 5 out of the 7 matches, and losing on the other occasion. Will that win at Real Sociedad last weekend change their fortunes?

Away Team: Barcelona

After winning the first six games of their season comfortably in all competitions, no one would have expected Barcelona’s form to dramatically drop in recent weeks. Draws at home to Girona and Athletic Bilbao, in games they were losing in for some time, as well as a shock defeat at Leganes, has ensured that Barcelona have only picked up two points from a possible 9. Real Madrid, Barcelona’s likely challengers, were unable to capitalise on this set of poor results, meaning Barcelona will be thanking their lucky stars to be remaining in top position in the league. Lionel Messi’s form cannot be questioned however, despite him not scoring in all of those matches, he did still provide important assists. Will Barcelona be able to bounce back to winning ways or will this run of form continue longer than anyone would have anticipated?

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Head to Head

Aside from meetings in the league last year, where Barcelona had drew at the Mestalla 1-1 before beating them at the Camp Nou in the return, the two sides also met in the Copa Del Rey too. Barcelona were able to win both legs of that fixture, winning 2-0 away and 1-0 at home. Valencia have managed to beat Barcelona on a couple of occasions in recent years though, in 2016 and 2014, but were at the Camp Nou instead of at the Mestalla Stadium. Valencia’s last home win against Barcelona in the league was back in 2007 in a 3-2 victory, which also followed another win in 2006. Therefore this means Barcelona have stayed undefeated in this corresponding fixture on their last 11 attempts, winning on 5 occasions.

Expert Predictions and Betting Tips

Valencia are at 4/1 to win their first home match in the league since May, whereas Barcelona are at 8/13 to end their poor run of results. A draw may be a wise option at 16/5. Despite Barcelona’s poor form, I fully expect them to get the result here. Their poor results have been due to a lack of concentration, and maybe effort, but they’ll be able to put on a typical Barcelona performance this Sunday. A 3-1 away win is at 11/1, and that would be my go-to prediction. If you think Valencia can beat Barcelona at home for the first time in 10 years, then you’ll be rewarded with plenty of money, as even a 1-0 home win for Valencia is at 18/1. However, only one winner for me here, as I expect them to bounce back in devastating fashion – you can bet on Barcelona to score 3+ goals at 13/8.

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