La Liga preview: Barcelona versus Valencia, 17 October 2021

epa09502314 Cadiz's midfielder Jens Jonsson (L) duels for the ball with Valencia's Brazilian striker Marcos Andre (R) during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match Cadiz CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla stadium in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain, 02 October 2021. EPA/ROMAN RIOS

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to a classic La Liga rivalry, as Barcelona host Valencia at Camp Nou on the evening of Sunday 17 October 2021.

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(TOP: Valencia’s striker Marcos Andre – right).

Barcelona will look for a statement win in this clash, with the Catalan club looking to re-establish their credentials as one of the best teams in La Liga after recent struggles. Veteran defender Gerard Pique insists that the team can challenge for the title this season.

“We’ve had a change of president and changes of coaches recently and what we need is stability. We have to all pull in the same direction. It is of no help to the team if there is no unity,” said Pique.

Valencia, meanwhile, have shown signs of promise and progress under Jose Bordalas, though he is keen to see the team spend more time under his tutelage before pundits judge how far they come.

“I don’t like to compare with other seasons,” said Bordalas. “This has just started and we have to continue improving aspects of the game. I am happy with the team but we have to improve, we have conceded many goals in what we have been in season. It is too early for any analysis. We are still in a period of growth.”

Key players

Ansu Fati – Now wearing the number 10 jersey formerly owned by Lionel Messi, Fati has become a similarly talismanic figure for Barcelona. The African-born attacker brings a vibrancy and aggression to his play that no other Blaugrana player can match.

Carlos Soler – After overcoming a recent injury, Carlos Soler will hope to pick up where he has left off. The midfielder represents all the best promise and optimism around Valencia – a club which is at war with its ownership but remains in love with players such as the 24-year-old Spanish international. 

Head-to-head stats

In head-to-head stats, Barcelona and Valencia have met in 65 matches across all competitions dating back to 1994, with the Blaugrana claiming 33 wins compared to 14 for Los Che, while 18 games have been drawn.

Barca took four points off Valencia in the teams’ two La Liga meetings last season: a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou in December 2020 and a 3-2 win at Estadio de Mestalla in May 2021, which featured two goals for Lionel Messi. 

Battles to watch

Memphis Depay v Gabriel Paulista – Depay has become an effective striker for Barcelona, and he will offer Valencia centre-back Gabriel Paulista an interesting test due to his movement and shooting ability.

Nico Gonzalez v Daniel Wass – A classic midfield battle, with Nico Gonzalez bringing energy, impressive technique and youthful energy to clash with Wass’s strength, experience and physicality.

Gerard Pique v Goncalo Guedes – Barca’s veteran centre-back has been as heartsore over the club’s struggles as anyone, but he’ll need to focus on the task of keeping auxiliary forward Goncalo Guedes under wraps.

No rival can compete with SuperSport’s coverage. Viewers on DStv and GOtv enjoy an unrivalled selection of football from around the world!

Don’t miss the New Football Season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on the DStv app.

Match broadcast details

All times CAT

Sunday 17 October

21:00: Barcelona v Valencia – LIVE on SuperSport La Liga, SuperSport Maximo 2 and SuperSport GOtv La Liga

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