Liga Preview: Barcelona-Valencia, Sunday 3:30pm ET
Didn’t we just do this? I thought we already played them (and won) 2-0 at the Camp Nou. I thought we’d eliminated Valencia and moved on. Turns out we’ve been in multiple competitions this whole time. Leverkusen isn’t some weird northern Spanish club. Or so they tell me. Valencia remains southern, however, and certainly Spanish. And also capable of beating Stoke on a Thursday night. But it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t all that cold, I don’t think. Mehmet Topal don’t give a crap about your English-centric theories.
So it’s La Liga, so it’s Valencia, so it’s a 13-point gap to overcome now that Racing has failed to score in the Bernabeu (and had a man sent off for an innocuous handball and yaddayadda). We’ve heard it before and now it’s time to pony up and get on your horse and Charge of the Light Brigade and Custer’s Last Stand and Crazy Horse and infinite equine-related references that mean we can’t lose because now pride is at stake. Gallopin’ geebers, we’ve got to get some goals. At least we’re not at the Mestalla where the field is cut up and full of people who aren’t wearing blaugrana in the stands.
We’re at home, we’re at the Camp Nou. We’re where we’re usually safe (except a couple of draws) and where we know what the field conditions will be before we start. Xavi, Busquets, and Adriano all trained regularly, though Dani Alves didn’t because he’s suspended from the Valencia match and might as well rest up as much as possible. I imagine he’s running just one marathon per day in order to do so. Keita has also returned, which is a wonderful relief for our defensively minded midfield sections. Afellay trained a bit on the field, which is wonderful news.
Valdes, Adriano, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Messi, Alexis
Tello will have to come off the bench and play some solid minutes because he’s exceptional like that, but I think we can do this. I think it’s the Camp Nou and we’ll blank them blanekity blank blanks. Official Prediction: 2-0. A double for Messi and another clean sheet for Valdes.