There have been big changes at both Valencia and FC Barcelona since the last time the two met in Mestalla at the start of September 2013, with both teams having new coaches and strengthened squads, but one thing is constant – Leo Messi, whose performance helped Barça to victory last year and as La Liga’s new all-time record goalscorer is enjoying a great start to this campaign. It’s going to be a tough game this evening, with Valencia having dropped just two points at home all season, but Barça are on a good run themselves and determined to keep it going.
Luis Enrique has called up the same 18 players he took to Nicosia, with the injured Vermaelen left at home along with Masip, Montoya, Douglas, Sergi Roberto and Iniesta. Mathieu, Busquets and Neymar, who all started on the bench against APOEL, are likely to win their starting places back at Mestalla.
Valencia have a full squad to choose from, including Paco Alcácer who missed last week’s derby game against Levante, and will be looking to maintain their excellent home record in the league this season, where they have won five games and drawn just once – against Athletic Bilbao a fortnight ago. Make no mistake, this will be a real test for Luis Enrique’s team!