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La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Valencia

30 January 2014 17:30

Barcelona have the opportunity to steal an early march on their title rivals when Valencia visit Camp Nou on Saturday.

With the two Madrid clubs - Atletico and Real - not playing until Sunday, Gerardo Martino's men can temporarily move three points clear at the summit with a victory.

Barca returned to winning ways against Malaga last time out in the league, having been held to draws in their previous two fixtures.

And history weighs heavily in the hosts' favour in this fixture, with Valencia returning winless from Barca's home ground in all visits since 2003.

The reverse fixture - held in September - ended 3-2 to Barcelona, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick for the visitors, and Helder Postiga grabbing a quick-fire brace to complete the scoring before half-time.

Valencia's form has been unpredictable this season and they have picked up just two league wins on the road, while Martino's charges have a 100 per cent winning record from 10 home matches in La Liga this season.

In contrast to Barca, who are yet to do any business in the January transfer window, Valencia have been at the centre of a number of comings and goings

This week saw the Mestalla outfit agree a deal to sign Seydou Keita, while the club allowed Postiga, Andres Guardado and Dorlan Pabon to move on.

Valencia also sealed the permanent signature of Ruben Vezo and a loan deal for Napoli's Eduardo Vargas earlier in the month.

Barca sealed their progression to the Copa del Rey semi-finals with a 9-2 aggregate demolition of Levante on Wednesday, while Valecnia will have had a weeks to recover from their last league fixture - a 2-2 draw with Espanyol.

Neymar (ankle) is the hosts' only major absence through injury, while Valencia are not thought to have any fresh injury concerns.

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Thursday 24 July

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Wednesday 23 July

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Tuesday 22 July

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +51 90
2 38 +67 87
3 38 +66 87
4 38 +27 70
5 38 +17 63
6 38 +16 59
7 38 +7 59
8 38 -2 49
9 38 -5 49
10 38 -8 48
11 38 -7 45
12 38 -34 43
13 38 -19 42
14 38 -10 42
15 38 -24 41
16 38 -20 40
17 38 -28 40
18 38 -30 39
19 38 -22 36
20 38 -42 25

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