Barcelona vs Valencia Prediction, Betting Odds, Picks

  • Barcelona are down in ninth place after a poor start to the La Liga season
  • Valencia have fallen away with some disappointing results in recent weeks
  • Both teams will be looking to generate some optimism with a win on Sunday

Barcelona vs Valencia Odds

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Match Result and Both Teams to Score Odds
Barcelona and Yes +175
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Barcelona and No +165
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Valencia and Yes +850
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Valencia and No +800
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Barcelona vs Valencia Pick

Back Barcelona to win and both teams to score.

Valencia’s form has tailed off after a positive start and Ronald Koeman has the chance to secure a pressure-easing victory, albeit one which could come at the expense of a clean sheet.

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Barcelona vs Valencia Prediction

Barcelona Crave a Straightforward and Uneventful Home Win

Barely a day has gone by since the end of last season without Barcelona being in the news. That is par for the course for a club of their size, but the difference now is that the reports are rarely positive.

The summer was dominated by Lionel Messi’s exit and the dramatic rush to trim the wage bill in time for the new season. Once the action began attention turned to the shortcomings of Ronald Koeman’s side on the pitch, of which there have been many.

We are still less than a quarter of the way through the campaign, and Barcelona have played one fewer game than most other teams in the division. Yet it is still jarring to see the Catalan giants down in ninth place.

They have failed to win a majority of their matches so far in 2021/22. One loss in seven games is not a particularly bad record, but draws with the likes of Granada and Cadiz felt more like defeats. The 2-0 reverse against Atletico Madrid last time out showed how far away from a title challenge Barcelona are.

There have been problems at both ends on the pitch. Barcelona have kept only one clean sheet all season.

Ronald Araujo has enhanced his status but Eric Garcia has looked out of his depth; it is hard not to wonder whether Barcelona would have signed him had he not come through their academy system. Individual errors have combined with structural deficiencies, making the Blaugrana’s backline too easy to penetrate. They have shipped six goals in two Champions League games, leaving them in danger of an early exit.

Their attacking play has been even worse. Barcelona have scored 11 goals but seven of those came in two matches against Real Sociedad and Levante. Luuk de Jong, to the surprise of no one, has been profligate upfront. The bigger issue, though, is the absence of a sophisticated strategy to break opponents down.

Barcelona have too often relied on crosses into the box, including an astonishing 54 in the draw with Granada. This is not the soccer Johan Cruyff intended.

Valencia Looking to End Winless Run and Recapture Form

Valencia made a fantastic start to the campaign, taking 10 points from the first 12 on offer to set up a top-of-the-table clash with Real Madrid in the middle of September.

Valencia were beaten 2-1 that day – and things have gone downhill from there. A 3-1 defeat by Sevilla followed a few days later, and Valencia were subsequently held to draws by Athletic Bilbao and Cadiz.

Los Che, therefore, head into this match out of form and low on confidence, even though their manager Jose Bordalas will justifiably point out that he has already made improvements at Mestalla. Those are most discernible at the back. Valencia have conceded eight goals in their eight matches, but the underlying numbers make for more positive reading. When it comes to expected goals against, Valencia have the second-best defensive record in the division. They are restricting their opponents to few clear-cut chances, and that suggests Barcelona will have to work hard to break them down on Sunday.

Valencia’s lack of squad depth was exposed before the international break, and the supporters will hope the team is fresher at the Camp Nou on matchday nine. Carlos Soler, Jose Gaya and Denis Cheryshev are available again after injury, and all three are likely to go straight back into the starting XI.

This Could Be an Entertaining Game With Goals at Both Ends

Barcelona have not struggled to keep the ball this season: they have the highest average possession in the division so far at 68.9 percent.

They have not always been productive with that possession, though, and opposing teams have often been happy to let Barcelona have the ball in the knowledge that they are no longer so effective at breaking teams down.

Koeman is hanging on to his job by a thread, and it is vital that his sideshow a response here. The result is the most important thing given Barcelona’s position in the table, but a convincing performance would not go amiss either. The Blaugrana must move the ball with pace and resist the temptation to fling crosses into the box at the first sign of adversity.

Valencia will fancy their chances of scoring at the Camp Nou, particularly if they are aided by the now customary defensive lapses. But the visitors’ heads could drop if they concede the first goal, and Barcelona would take confidence from being ahead in front of their own fans. The crisis would not be over with a win here, but Barcelona should have enough to triumph – albeit in a game featuring goals for both sides.

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How to Watch Barcelona vs Valencia

Barcelona vs Valencia Information
Teams Barcelona vs Valencia
Location Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Time Sunday, 17 October 2021, 15.00 PM EDT
How to watch ESPN

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]