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Valencia vs Barca Picks – Barca take advantage of banged-up Valencia back four

Posted by Todd Shale on 3/11/2010 2:59:13 PM

Soccer odds – Pick Barca -213

Online betting players are watching a two-horse race in Spain, as Valencia is a distant third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia will head to Barca this weekend, but with a dangerous mix of injuries and suspensions to their defense, they won’t have much of a shot at ending their terrible run of form at the Nou Camp in recent outings. Barca could be in for a huge game on Sunday.

  • Valencia vs Barca Picks: Barca -213; Valencia +731; Draw +382
  • What: Soccer betting
  • When: Sunday, March 14, 2:00 PM ET
  • Where Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
  • Key Stat Barca has outscored Valencia 10-0 in their last two meetings at the Nou Camp

The Storyline: Valencia vs Barca Picks

Valencia still has to play Werder Bremen in the first leg of their Europa League tie at home on Thursday, but they could manage only a 0-0 draw against Racing Santander at home on Monday. Barca drew 2-2 at Almeira last Saturday, but that pulled them into a tie for first place with Real Madrid in La Liga. Valencia sits 15 points back in third place, and they’re aiming to hold off the likes of Sevilla and Mallorca. These two sides drew 0-0 at Valencia on October 17th in a chippy affair that had seven yellow cards.

Offensive Matchups: Valencia vs Barca Picks

Villa has scored 37 goals in the Premiership, but they’re coming off a four-goal haul at Reading in the FA Cup, with John Carew notching a hat trick. It would be good for Carew if he could keep that up in the league, as Gaby Agbonlahor leads the way with 11 goals, while Carew, James Milner and Ashley Young have four apiece. When Agbonlahor and Young are rampaging down the wings, that makes it much easier for Carew and Emile Heskey up front.

David Villa is second in La Liga with 17 goals, but he’s scoreless in his last three outings. Valencia has scored one goal in their last two matches, but the potential for an explosion is always there with Villa and David Silva leading an attack that is third in La Liga in goals scored.

Barca has scored eight goals in their last three league matches, and Lionel Messi has three of them to push his La Liga-leading total to 19. Zlatan Ibrahimovich (who is suspended) has been off and on all season since coming to the Nou Camp from Inter Milan, which puts a lot of pressure on Messi to produce. It’s a good thing he’s the best player in the world right now.

Betting Edge: Barca

Defensive Matchups: Valencia vs Barca Picks

Valencia gave up four goals at Atletico Madrid on February 28th, and what’s more is that two of their defenders, Carlos Marchena and Miguel, both received red cards in the match, and they’ll miss this match as well. To make matters worse, David Navarro was sent off against Racing Santander. Do Valencia now have enough to keep up with Barca?

The Catalans’ sportsbook odds are factored on their ability to score at any time, but the Barca defense is underrated, allowing a La Liga-low 16 goals in the match. Carlos Puyol has been a rock in the middle of the Barca defense, while Gerard Pique is coming into his own at 23 years of age, and he’ll probably replace Puyol in the heart of the back four when Puyol, the Barca captain, retires.

Betting Edge: Barca

Notable Injuries: Valencia vs Barca Pickss

Bruno, Jeremy Mathieu, David Albelda, and Vicente should all miss this match through injury, and all but Vicente are defensive-minded players, which could really hurt them at Barca

Barca has no new injury woes.

Betting Edge: Barca

Totals: Valencia vs Barca Picks

Six of the last 10 meetings between these two have gone over the posted total, and given Valencia’s injury and suspension problems at the back, Barca could run wild. Valencia is also capable of scoring with Villa and Silva.

Pick: Over 2.5

Betting Prediction: Valencia vs Barca Picks

Barca is 11-1-0 at home this season, and they’ve rolled Valencia at the Nou Camp in their last two meetings there, outscoring them 10-0. After two straight draws at Valencia, this series returns to Barcelona, and that bodes well for the home team, who will be able to abuse a patched-up Valencia defense. Even if they have no Ibrahimovich, they still have Thierry Henry to come off the bench, along with Messi, and the midfield duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Look for Barca to keep pace with Real Madrid with a big win here.

Todd’s Pick: Barca -213

Get Todd’s sports betting picks each week in the Betting Edge at BetOnline.

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