Predicted XIs Valencia-Barcelona: Doubts over Jules Kounde’s position

After failing to make it through the Champions League group stages, Barcelona are out of the fire and into the cauldron that is Mestalla on Saturday night.

The Blaugrana will see themselves as obligated to win and avoid the threat of Real Madrid opening up a six-point gap at the top of the table. Valencia have been struggling to back up their good form early in the season and Gennaro Gattuso’s side have just one win in their last five matches.

Sport believe that Xavi Hernandez will make changes in order to precipitate a reaction from his side. Moving Jules Kounde to right-back and dropping Sergio Busquets are the two key moves they predict.

Ansu Fati and Gavi would return, leaving no place for Franck Kessie either, as Barcelona return to a more natural front three.

Valencia are are missing Ilaix Moriba and Mouctar Diakhaby through injury. Both Mundo Deportivo predict that Gennaro Gattuso will opt for right-back Dmitri Foulquier to add some extra presence in midfield. Justin Kluivert, Edinson Cavani and Samuel Lino will form a versatile front three.

The former Catalan daily do not see Xavi continuing with Marcos Alonso in central defence. They also see Barcelona’s attacking trio containing Ferran Torres rather than Ansu. Busquets and Bellerin will retain their places for MD and Gavi will continue on the bench. Xavi is still missing Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay and Andreas Christensen through injury.

Tags Barcelona La Liga Valencia
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