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Opponent watch: Valencia captain likely to miss Barcelona encounter on Saturday

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Barcelona will lock horns with Belgian champions Royal Antwerp in a matter of hours in their final group-stage match of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League.

With qualification for the next round secured, there is not much at stake heading into the match, although the Catalans will be eager to get back to winning ways following the humbling defeat at the hands of Girona over the weekend.

Once the Royal Antwerp clash is out of the way, the focus will shift back to La Liga, where Barcelona cannot afford any more slip-ups at all.

The next hurdle for the reigning champions in the league will be Valencia, who have had an inconsistent campaign so far.

Jose Gaya unlikely to be ready for Barcelona clash

Leading up to the game on Saturday, though, Barcelona have been given a boost as Valencia are set to be without one of their most important players.

Indeed, as per Mundo Deportivo, Valencia captain Jose Gaya is a serious doubt for the clash against Barça at the Mestalla as he is still recovering from an injury.

Gaya has been on the road to recovery since he picked up an adductor injury in the match between Valencia and Celta Vigo a fortnight ago.

The left-back has not been able to train with his teammates and has since been in the gym at the training complex. Although he touched the ball for the first time in today’s training, he is expected to be a major doubt for Barcelona’s visit.

Valencia will also be without Javi Guerra, who is suspended after his sending-off against Getafe. André Almeida, who is still recovering from a fractured vertebrae, is also unlikely to be available.

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