Friday, October 28, 2022

Valencia - Barcelona match thread

 After a positive start, it's gone a little sour for Valencia in recent games. Unfortunately, tomorrow brings up one of Valencia's traditionally most difficult opponent in the Mestalla: FC Barcelona. While we did of course beat them in the Copa final of 2019, our home record against them has been dismal. In the last 15 seasons, Valencia has managed only one win, in January 2020 under Celades, when a Maxi Gomez double gave us a 2-0 win. Other than that, we've drawn 6 and lost 8.

Diakhaby's injury last time turned out to be more serious, and he's out till January, although the world cup gap makes that less serious. After being injured the previous week, Comert has been back in training and Cenk was one of the bright spots last game. Castillejo has been back in training, but it's unclear if he's fit enough yet. It's the midfield where Gattuso has a huge headache. Ilaix also got injured for a month, which means till after the world cup. Musah is suspended due to yellow card accumulation and Nico can't play against Barcelona due to a "fear clause" in his loan agreement. I think it's unlikely Gattuso will throw a youth player in at the deep end in such a big game so he'll probably play someone else there. I'd expect Foulquier. Another option would be to switch to 4-4-2, but my money is on the Foulquier option. Most likely: Mamardashvili, Thierry, Comert, Paulista, Gaya; Almeida, Guillamon, Foulquier; Lino, Cavani, Kluivert.

Barcelona lost yet again to Bayern in midweek but they've otherwise been playing well so unfortunately I will be surprised to get anything from this game.

Before the game there will be an homage

to David Villa, Valencia's 4th best striker of all time.