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La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Valencia

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  PROBABLE LINE-UPS


BARCELONA

Valdes
Montoya, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Tello, Messi, Sanchez

VALENCIA

Alves
Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Mathieu
Albelda, T Costa
Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado
Soldado


Barcelona captain Carles Puyol remains doubtful for Sunday's Primera Division encounter against Valencia with a cheekbone injury.

The Catalans, who will have coach Tito Vilanova barred from the dugout, could also be without right back Dani Alves, after the Brazilian picked up a knock prior to Wednesday's Supercopa defeat at Real Madrid. However, young midfielder Thiago has finally overcome a tibia injury that kept him out of the Olympics and is fit to play.

Valencia summer signing Fernando Gago faces a late fitness test, so David Albelda may make his first appearance of the season. Also set for a start is French defender Adil Rami, who will deputize for the suspended Ricardo Costa.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Barcelona's Supercopa defeat against Real Madrid was its first away loss since a 1-0 reverse at Chelsea in last season's Champions League semifinal first leg.

  • The Catalans have been drawn in Group G with Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic for the group stage of this season's Champions League.

  • Lionel Messi (pictured right) has the same goalscoring record as last season after four games in all competitions: six goals.

  • Valencia has failed to register a win over Barcelona in its last 11 attempts across all competitions.

  • The Mestalla outfit's last victory at Camp Nou was a 1-0 success in October 2003 - the last time it won the league.

  • Valencia has been drawn in Group F for the Champions League group stage alongside Bayern Munich, Lille and BATE Borisov.
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