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Valencia vs. FC Barcelona preview

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Tonight, Barcelona travels to Valencia to play a tough away game against a team who has won their last 5 games including a 3-1 victory against Sevilla. Valencia are currently in 4th place and trail Sevilla by only two points. A win tomorrow could put Valencia into 3rd at least until Sevilla plays Real Madrid on Sunday.

In the first game of the season, Barcelona easily beat Valencia 4-0 with Henry scoring a hat trick. In that game, Eto’o was suspended and Henry occupied the central attacking spot.

The Barca lineup for the game is complicated by the fact, that some of the Barca players only need another yellow card before triggering a suspension. Toure, Alves, Eto’o, Xavi and Busquets will be suspended for the El Classico if they receive a yellow card tomorrow.

Expected Barca lineup:

Valdes

Puyol, Marquez, Pique, Abidal

Busquets

Xavi, Keita

Messi, Bojan, Iniesta

Alves hasn’t played as well as he did over the winter and a rest would be good for him. This would also ensure that he can play at the Bernabeu. Marquez and Pique have been rocks in central defense so no need to change that. Abidal looks a certain starter in left back.

In midfield, Sergio Busquets will probably start instead of Toure. He will get defensive assistance from Keita and Xavi will be needed to create the game.

In attack, Messi was rested and Iniesta was subbed after 58 fantastic minutes from him in the Sevilla game. Henry has been playing a lot recently and could need a rest. We expect Bojan to start instead of Eto’o but it’s pretty much 50/50.

Valencia are playing a 4231 and have seen a lot of success recently. Unfortunately for them, Joaquin and Albelda will miss the game due to injuries. Villa is in fantastic form at the moment and scored both goals in midweek. He now has 25 goals of the season.

Expected Valencia lineup:

Cesar

Alexis, Marchena, Maduro, del Horno

Edu, Moretti

Pedro, Silva, Mata

Villa

This means that del Horno can look forward to taking care of Messi again. In the round of 16 match against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge in 2006, del Horno was shown the red card after a bad challenge on Messi.

Steffen Risager is the editor of www.elbarca.net.

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I’m a 23 year old Danish FC Barcelona fan who fell in love with the club when Michael Laudrup was orchestrating the Dream Team in the early 90’s. I remember the exact game that made me a Blaugrana. My parents were visiting some of their friends and brought me along as they had some kids I could play with. When dusk turned to dawn we turned on their black and white TV and watched Barca win an epic 5-0 victory against Real Madrid. I remember the atmosphere, I remember the fantastic play and I remember thinking: “This is special – this is epic,” although it took me many years to grasp and fully understand what I had just witnessed – I just knew it was magic.