Barcelona, after losing to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, have been knocked out of the competition, but they can still win the La Liga. However, their form of late has been a cause of concern. Not only did they lose to Atletico Madrid, but they have also lost their last two games in the La Liga.
Barcelona can inch their lead to four points with a win against Valencia. On the other hand, a loss could be catastrophic as the gap between table-toppers Barcelona and Real Madrid will stretch to single point.
But the champion team, Barcelona, will be eager to showcase their skills against Valencia at the Camp Nou on Sunday, and come up with the type of quality football, which they have been known for in the past. Barcelona manager Luis Enrique believes that they need to forget about what happened and concentrate on the remaining competitions, including La Liga.
"We have to lift ourselves up and focus on what we have ahead of us. And that means two very attractive competitions that we are still involved in. We have to forget the past. It won't be easy, and we are going to need the fans' support more than ever. It's at difficult times like these that we need them most," Barcelona FC's official website quoted Enrique as saying.
The manager wants the fans to get behind the team and come out triumphant against Valencia.
"I'm hoping to win trophies this season, and bring some joy to the supporters. Barça fans are an intelligent lot, and they'd never forgive us for a lack of attitude or ambition. But we'll never be guilty of that. I'm sure the fans will get behind us. This is a time when we need to give more than ever, and this team never stops trying to get better, in every training session and in every game," Enrique said.
Players like Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hate to lose, and will be hurt with their performance against Atletico Madrid. They are expected to come all guns blazing and give their fans a reason to cheer. With such players in Barcelona's team, the visitors, who are in the 13th position in the La Liga, have their task cut out.
Valencia come into this game with their heads held high, after a brilliant win against a formidable Sevilla side in their last encounter. They will be eager to come up with a similar performance against Barcelona, and move up the La Liga table.
The visitors will come with clear strategies to counter Barcelona and their exceptional players, and coach Pako Ayestran does not want Barca to dominate possession.
"Against FC Barcelona you have to be able to withstand them and have a strong team spirit, otherwise you don't have a chance. We'll try to make sure that their possession is not so high, but we know that we will spend a long time without the ball and we have to know how to manage those moments," Valencia's official website quoted Ayestran as saying.
"I see a focused team that are wanting to improve, with zero fear. We have a responsibility to implement what we do in training."
With Real Madrid in second spot, they will be supporting Valencia as the visitors' win will make the title race interesting.
Where to watch live
Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. local time (12 a.m. IST, 6:30 p.m. GMT, 2:30 p.m ET) start, with live TV coverage in India on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Viewers in India can also watch the Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga game via live streaming online on Sony Liv.
The audience in Spain can catch the match Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga game live on Canal+ Partidazo and Movistar Futbol.
Fans in the U.K. can watch Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga game live on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD2. Live streaming option will be available on SkyGo.
Bein Sports will broadcast the La Liga match between Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga game live on TV in the U.S., while the live stream option is on Bein Sports Connect.