Confirmed Barcelona XI vs Valencia: Starlet gets nod from Valverde in strong line-up

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Barcelona host Valencia at the Nou Camp on Saturday evening, with coach Ernesto Valverde naming a strong starting line-up for the clash.

The Catalan giants have a busy upcoming fixture schedule and perhaps have one eye on their meeting with bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey in midweek.

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In turn, Valverde has made changes which include a rare start for youngster Carles Alena, who will be desperate to impress and make a case to be more involved moving forward.

Nevertheless, it’s still a very strong line-up which contains the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, as they’ll look to make the difference with their class in the final third.

Arthur, Malcom and Kevin Prince-Boateng all start on the bench, although there’s no place for Sergi Samper who was left out of the final match-day squad.

A win for Barcelona would pile the pressure on Atletico Madrid to respond when they face Real Betis on Sunday afternoon, as that would open up an eight-point lead at the top of the La Liga table.

However, Valverde will certainly hope that his players don’t get distracted and overlook Valencia, with the showdown with Real Madrid looming next week. On top of that, he’ll also be eager to avoid picking up any fresh injury setbacks with such crucial fixtures coming up.

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