Barcelona Tries to End the Slide Against Resurgent ValenciaPublished April 17, 2016 by Florin P
No room for error as Barcelona takes on Valencia (5:30 p.m UK Time).
The impossible happened and Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, at the end of a match they were expected to dominate. Fruitless ball possession didn’t help them one bit and now that the most important objective is out of the picture they must focus on winning the domestic league. They are well-positioned to do so, but will have to defeat Valencia at home to stay on track.
Just One Victory in One Month
Barcelona used to ride long winning streaks and their ability to score goals both at home and on the road was downright frightening. Recently, the team struggled on all fronts and with a single victory in more than a month, they no longer look like a powerhouse. It is imperative for the hosts to change this perception when Valencia comes visiting, because their advantage has shrunk to just three points.
Barcelona allowed two goals per match in for the last five games and failed to win any of them, with the only victory being the controversial home win over Atletico. Their offensive players are fading and fatigue can only partially explain their poor form, with motivation being another key component.
Valencia Tries to Take Advantage
The visitors are no strangers to downswings and their poor performance in the second half of the season led to the firing of Gary Neville. Valencia now has a new manager and under his guidance they managed to win at home against Sevilla and put some distance between them and the relegation area.
It is hard to believe that Valencia will travel to Barcelona trying to claim all three points, given their recent experience here. Last time the team conceded seven goals and scored none, so they will simply try to defend better and scrap one point. Right now it is simply too risky to bet on the home side given their struggles and risk-averse punters should rather wager on fewer than 4.5 goals being scored at odds of 7/10.