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Sep 14, 2019 at 8pm UK
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How Barcelona could line up against Valencia

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Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up in Saturday's La Liga clash with Valencia.
By , European Football Editor | 6d

Having made their worst start to a La Liga campaign since 2008, Barcelona will be desperate to put three points on the board when they welcome Valencia to Camp Nou on Saturday night.

The Spanish champions are currently eighth in the table on four points - already five points off Atletico Madrid, who have won all three of their games this season.

Barca started the 2019-20 season with a 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao, before putting five past Real Betis in a 5-2 home win on August 25. Ernesto Valverde's team could not make it back-to-back victories last time out, though, as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Osasuna.

Valencia beat Barca 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final at the end of last season, while the two teams played out two draws in La Liga during the 2018-19 campaign.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Catalan giants could line up on home soil.

Out: Ousmane Dembele (hamstring), Samuel Umtiti (foot), Lionel Messi (calf), Neto (wrist)

Lionel Messi will once again miss out for Barca as the Argentina international struggles to shake off the calf problem that he suffered during a training session at the start of August.

Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti will be absent with hamstring and foot injuries, in addition to number two goalkeeper Neto following a wrist operation.

Luis Suarez has trained this week following a calf problem, though, and the Uruguay international is expected to return to the starting XI for the first time since the defeat to Bilbao.

Carles Perez scored against Betis before providing two assists in the clash with Osasuna last time out, and the 21-year-old could continue in the final third alongside Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez.

Midfield is also another interesting area with Ivan Rakitic being tipped to come in for Sergi Roberto, although Arthur and Arturo Vidal are also options in the middle of the park.

Nelson Semedo had emerged as a doubt earlier this week due to an ankle problem that he suffered on international duty; the right-back has trained ahead of the match, though, and is again expected to line up in defence alongside Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba.

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