Barca to bounce back in style: Barcelona vs Valencia La Liga preview
Barcelona vs Valencia. Barcelona return to La Liga action against a red-hot Valencia side following their Champions League embarrassment in midweek. Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals (xG) data to generate the best bets.
Barcelona Expected Goals (xG)
Barcelona suffered an embarrassing defeat in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, blowing a 4-1 first leg lead against Roma and going out on away goals. The worst thing about this for Barcelona is that they fully deserved to be beaten over the two legs (xG: BAR 3.2 – 5.1 ROM), with Ernesto Valverde accused of playing very negatively.
There will no doubt be serious questions asked of the manager and players after that defeat, but the fact still remains that they are unbeaten so far in La Liga and are set for another league title. A deserved 3-1 victory over Leganes last time out (xG: BAR 2.6 – 0.8 LEG) extended their lead to 11 points, and only a few wins from regaining the title.
Infogol's La Liga xG table
After their Champions League disappointment, Barca are expected to line-up to be much more on the front foot in this game. They are averaging 2.7 xG per game in La Liga, so should generate plenty of chances, and need to put on good show in front of their home fans.
Valencia Expected Goals (xG)
Valencia are in great form coming into this game, winning eight of their last nine matches to move above Real Madrid into third place - one more win will confirm their Champions League place for next season.
They have been creating plenty of chances all season long, and have a very talented group of attacking players, averaging 1.8 xG per game this season. One of those player in great form is striker Rodrigo, who has scored in each his last five matches.
Rodrigo in good form
While Valencia possess a threat in attack, they do still have a defensive weakness. They have conceded 31 goals this season, but according to the chances allowed to their opponents, they should have let in closer to 50 (49.5 xG) – an average of 1.6 xG per game.
A Barcelona team that needs to bounce back from disappointment are expected to be too strong here; they can take advantage of Valencia’s weaker defence in a high-scoring game. The visitors could cause Barca problems, though, and the home team to win with both teams to score looks a good bet.
Barcelona to win and both teams to score @ 7/5