La Liga Match of the Day Round 22 – Barcelona vs. Valencia (2/2/19)

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Blaugrana is five points ahead of Atletico Madrid and they have a chance to create a bigger gap as Diego Simeone’s side is playing against Betis on the road, while the Bats have a chance to move into the top six with three points here. The game between Barcelona and Valencia will take place at the Camp Nou on February 2nd, 2019.

Barcelona vs. Valencia

Three-Way: 1: Barcelona -357; X: +475 Draw; 2: Valencia +1000 at BetDSI Sportsbook

Spread -1.5: Barcelona -128; Valencia +118

Total 3.5 goals: Over -110; Under -110

BARCELONA

Five points clear at the top, Barcelona has now won eight LaLiga games on the bounce and are on a seven-game winning streak at Camp Nou in all competitions. As well as conceding LL’s second-lowest tally of goals in their last five league matches (GD – 12:2), Barca has also claimed three clean sheets from their previous five competitive home games, scoring 17 goals from 41 shots on target across those five.

The hosts are unbeaten in the last seven H2Hs with Valencia and have won their last three matchups at Camp Nou. Furthermore, this game pits the team with the division’s highest average total-goals-per-game (Barcelona: 3.76) against the team with the lowest (Valencia: 1.90).

After defeating Girona on the road in LaLiga, Barcelona destroyed Sevilla 6-1 in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and won 6-3 on aggregate. Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 13th minute, while Even Banega missed an opportunity to score from the spot in the 27th, and from that point, the hosts controlled the tilt. Blaugrana doubled the lead through Ivan Rakitic in the 31st minute; Coutinho and Sergi Roberto scored in space of two minutes early in the second half, and although Guilherme Arana made it 4-1 in the 67th, Luis Suarez and Leo Messi sealed the victory in the final few minutes.

Ernesto Valverde cannot count on Sergio Busquets (suspension), OusmaneDembele (ankle), Rafinha (knee), and Samuel Umtiti (knee).

Betting Trends:

  • How can Lionel Messi play a game without being a favorite to score? The 19-goal hitman has scored in nine straight domestic appearances and has 25 career goals against Valencia
  • Both teams have scored in seven of Barca’s 11 home league matches
  • Barcelona has been winning at half-time and full-time (W/W) in seven of their LaLiga home matches – a league high

VALENCIA

Despite a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo in their last LaLiga away game, the task gets more difficult for Valencia manager Marcelino; he’s faced Barca boss Ernesto Valverde more times than any other manager but has only won three games (W3, D5, L8).

In LaLiga, Los Che are no pushovers away from home this term (W3, D4, L3), and have upset the odds winning twice here since 2014. Yet Valencia has won just five overall H2H meetings since 2005 (D12, L19), and recorded just one clean sheet at Camp Nou since 2000.

Valencia won four of their previous five games overall including the historic comeback victory over Getafe in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. The Bats trailed 1-0 from the opening leg and the things couldn’t go worse for the hosts as Jorge Molina scored for Getafe in the 1st minute but Valencia fought back and scored three second-half goals through Rodrigo who netted the couple in the injury time. They will face Betis in the semis, while Barcelona will take on Real Madrid.

Marcelino will be without Francis Coquelin (personal), Geoffrey Kondogbia (muscle), while Ezequiel Garay (head), and Goncalo Guedes (a hernia) are listed as questionable to face Barcelona on Saturday.

Betting Trends:

  • Rodrigo has just four LaLiga goals this season but netted a hat-trick in Valencia’s recent 3-1 Copa del Rey win
  • Valencia failed to score in seven of their 16 competitive away games

Barcelona won six out of the previous ten H2H encounters (D3, L1) including three out of the last four, while the Blaugrana was victorious in the past three meetings at the Camp Nou. Valencia is surely not harmless when they visit Barca as they recorded a couple of wins in the last seven trips here, and although their away form of late is not very good, they didn’t lose more than one goal to Barca in the last two games at the Camp Nou. That’s why I am backing the Bats to cover the +1.5 spread and prevent Barcelona from getting a win by two or more goals difference.

MY PICK: AH +1.5 Valencia (+118)

ADDITIONAL PICK: Only one of the last five H2H duels produced three or more goals but each of the previous two encounters produced goals on both sides, and I am backing the rivals to score on each end here as well, while I am backing them to combine for minimum three goals.

MY PICK: BTTS and Over 2.5 (-120)

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