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Spanish La Liga

Starting XI: Valencia v Barca

Spanish La Liga
 
Teams: Valencia v FC Barcelona
 
Date: 26 November 2017
 
Venue: Estadio de Mestalla
 
La Liga leaders FC Barcelona visit their closest challengers — a Valencia side that has been the surprise package of the season — at the Estadio de Mestalla on Sunday.
 
The match is scheduled to get underway at 21h45.
 
Barcelona top the log with 34 points from 12 games, while their hosts sit second, four points adrift.
 
Both sides have been spearheaded by their star men on attack. Lionel Messi has netted 12 times for the Catalans, while Simone Zaza has nine goals this campaign for Los Che. In total, Barcelona have scored 33 to Valencia’s 32.
 
New manager Marcelino García Toral has masterminded a revolution at Valencia after their disappointing 12th-place finish last season. He faces his toughest test yet in Ernesto Valverde, another boss who has silenced critics since taking over at the start of the season.
 
Last season, these sides scored 11 goals between them in their two league clashes. Barcelona won 3-2 away and 4-2 at home.
 
A repeat would see the Blaugrana strengthen their status as overwhelming favourites for the La Liga crown. However, after Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid each claimed victories on Saturday, a Valencia win would blow the title race wide open.
 
Here's how they line up:

Valencia: Neto; Montoya, Garay, Gabriel, Gayà; Soler, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes; Zaza, Rodrigo.

Barca: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Vermaelen , Umtiti, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Paulinho, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez.

 

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