Valencia vs. Barcelona 1/25/20 Spanish LaLiga Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
1/25/20 10 am
Over 2.5 (-188), Under 2.5 (+150)
Valencia is welcoming Barcelona to Mestalla in a derby match of round 21 of Spanish LaLiga.
Valencia has been solid for most of the season, but they had some struggles as of late, mostly on the defensive end. After losing to Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup a few weeks ago, Valencia also lost a LaLiga match against Mallorca, one of the worse teams in LaLiga. Valencia is in 7th place in the standings with 31 points, 30 scored goals, and 29 conceded goals in 20 games in LaLiga. Offensively, Valencia is doing well, but their defense hasn’t been good, and it lacks consistency. Earlier this week, Valencia was playing in Copa del Rey and has won this match against the lower league team. In their last LaLiga match against Mallorca away from home, Valencia had 58% of ball possession, 6 corner kicks, 86% of the correct passes, but only 1 shot on goal. It was a terrible game for Valencia which they lost 4-1. Maxi Gomez is Valencia’s leading goal scorer with 7 goals, followed by their captain Dani Parejo with 6 goals. Valencia is in a bit of trouble with injuries right now and some of their important players like Guedes, Moreno, and Vallejo will not be in the lineup, while Garay who is Valencia’s starting central defender is still questionable. The next few games will be tough for Valencia and it will be hard for them to reach an optimal form before the Champions League starts in late February. Coach Celades has his work cut out for him, and Valencia’s defense should be in the first place to get fixed because Valencia is slowly dropping on standings.
Barcelona has a new coach since last week, and I must say, Barcelona looked fantastic in their first game with a new coach. Barcelona was on another level, players were more active, especially Busquets who needed this change more than any other player. Barcelona was playing against Granada at home in this match and has had massive 82% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 7 corner kicks, and a high 92% of the correct passes. As I said, it was a really good game for Barcelona despite scoring only 1 goal at home, which was a thing of beauty. There was a lot of improvement in Barcelona since coach Setien was hired, especially on the defensive end. Barcelona’s defense was compact, fast in reacting, calm, and they managed to keep the clean sheet. Barcelona is still at the top of LaLiga with 43 points, 50 scored goals, and 23 conceded goals. Messi has scored 14 goals and added 6 assists for Barcelona, while Suarez added 11 goals and 7 assists, but unfortunately, he is injured and will not play anymore this season which is a huge blow for Barcelona and his absence was noticed right away. Griezman scored 7 goals and added 4 assists. Turan is also injured, while Dembele is getting close to being ready to play. After this match against Valencia, Barcelona’s schedule is on the lighter side which is a perfect opportunity for players to get used to the new coach’s ideas before they face Napoli in the Champions League. Earlier this week, Barcelona was playing in Copa del Rey against the lower league team and has won 1-2 with 2 goals from Griezman who is playing in better form with every game. I was a bit skeptical when Setien was hired, and I know that 1 game can’t really tell us anything, but if Barcelona continues to go down this path, it will be extremely hard to stop both in LaLiga and the Champions League.
Valencia’s home record is 5-5-0, while Barcelona’s away record is 4-3-3 this season. Valencia hasn’t won against Barcelona when playing at home since before 2009., and I don’t think it will happen here. Barcelona is the better team, in better form, with more depth and quality.