FC Barcelona defends Camp Nou against Valencia CF on September 14, 2019 in Spanish La Liga action.

“Soccer" FC Barcelona

Football Club Barcelona was established in 1899 and has become the symbol of Catalan culture. In Spanish football,  FC Barcelona has won a record 74 trophies since their inception. These include 26 La Liga titles, 30 Copa del Rey victories, 13 Supercopa de Espana triumphs and 2 Copa de La Liga wins. When talking about the international scene, Barca has won 20 European and world titles.

Barcelona has been represented by some of the sport’s greatest players. In fact, FC Barcelona has a total 11 Ballon d’Or winners and 7 FIFA World Player of they Year winners in their history, both are records. They are one of the founding members of the Primera Division and have never been relegated from the top flight since its creation in 1929. In 2009, they became the first Spanish football team to accomplish the intercontinental treble- winning the La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona are the reigning La Liga Champions. They have topped the Spanish League in eight out of the last 11 years including the last two seasons. They head to the current season as the soccer betting favorites to retain their title. Barcelona finished with 11points ahead of runners-up Atletico during the last term and have solidified their lineup with the addition of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Junior Firpo.

Griezmann was excellent in Barcelona’s win over Real Betis as he netted twice in their 5-2 victory. The champions thus bounced back from a shock opening day loss to Athletic Bilbao. Not only was the team impressive against Real Betis for coach Ernesto Valverde, there were many individual highlights which showcased Barcelona’s depth and supreme talent level.

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“Soccer" Valencia

Valencia Club de Futbol was established in 1919 and they are the third-most supported football club in Spain after Barcelona and Real Madrid. Valencia has one of the highest registered paying supporters with 50,000 season ticket holders and an estimated 20,000+ in the waiting list. This club finished a very good 4th place in the previous La Liga season.

Valencia has won a total of 6 La Liga championships, eight Copa del Rey titles, one Supercopa de Espana and one Copa Eva Duarte. When it comes to European tournaments, Valencia has won two Inter Cities Fairs Cup, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and one UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Dani Parejo topped Valencia with a total of nine La Liga goals last season, his best output since the 2015 season. Parejo started out his career with Real Madrid before making a name for himself playing for Getafe. The 30-year old from Coslada in Spain is the Valencia team captain and has played with the club since 2011.

During the transfer season, Valencia added the likes of  Jasper Cillessen, Maxi Gomez and Denis Cheryshev from Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Villareal, respectively. Cillesen could be the key guy here because the 30-year old goalkeeper will take over from Neto who has moved to the Catalan giants.

“Soccer" Who Wins?

Barcelona has opened their La Liga campaign with a 1-1-1 record thru three games played. They lost to Athletic Bilbao in their opening match but have bounced back with a 5-2 win over Real Betis and a 2-2 draw over Osasuna. This isn’t the kind of start we were expecting from the champions but despite that, they have slowly but surely shown the touch of La Liga champions.

Valencia is also 1-1-1 SU on the current season. Valencia opened with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad and they lost to Celta Vigo in their next match. In their most recent outing, Valencia blanked Mallorca 2-0 to get their first win of the season.

Head to head, Barcelona has won four out of the last eight matches between these two squads. Three of those eight matches ended in a draw but Valencia won their last meeting 2-1 in the Copa del Rey last May 25, 2019. That said, I believe Barcelona can’t wait to avenge that defeat and with the talent level they have, they are going to emerge victorious in front of their home fans. Prediction: Barcelona

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