Barcelona play host to Valencia at Camp Nou on Saturday in what is the Primera Division’s most eye-catching fixture of the weekend.
The Catalans flexed their muscles in midweek to progress through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a spectacular 6-1 victory over Sevilla , overturning a 2-0 first-leg loss, representing a step up in their focus.
Already they lie five points clear at the top of the Spanish standings but their qualities will be put to the test against mid-table opponents who have lost only four of their 21 league fixtures this term.
n the United States (US), the game can be watched on BeINSports and live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|BeIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast on television but is available for streaming with Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Eleven Sports 1|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda, Gonzalez, Chumi, Todibo, Vermaelen, Roberto|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Boateng, Arthur, Alena|
|Forwards||Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Malcom|
Barcelona will miss Sergio Busquets from this encounter due to a one-game ban.
Samuel Umtiti remains a long-term absentee in the heart of the defence but has started training again. Jean-Clair Todibo is added to the squad in that area .
An ankle problem keeps Ousmane Dembele from featuring.
Confirmed Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Vermaelen, Roberto; Alena, Rakitic, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
|Defenders||Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Lato, Piccini, Roncaglia|
|Midfielders||Coquelin, Parejo, Carlos Soler, Torres, Wass, Lee|
|Forwards||Gameiro, Mina, Sobrino, Cheryshev, Torres, Rodrigo|
Mouctar Diakhaby has been handed a four-match ban following a fight in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Geoffrey Kondogbia and playmaker Goncalo Guedes are already sidelined through injury.
Confirmed Valencia starting XI: Neto; Piccini, Garay, Gabriel, Lato; Wass, Coquelin, Parejo, Cheryshev; Rodrigo, Gameiro
Betting & Match Odds
Barcelona are 2/7 favourites to win the clash at Camp Nou, according to bet365. Valencia can be backed at 10/1 while a draw is 19/4.
Barcelona were back to their absolute best on Wednesday as they dismantled Sevilla 6-1 to progress through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Having played a weakened team in previous outings, a 2-0 first-leg loss against the Andalusians prompted more serious action from Ernesto Valverde, who unleashed Lionel Messi & Co. for the return match.
It proved one of the great Camp Nou nights as the attack clicked together spectacularly, with Philippe Coutinho (twice), Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and, of course, the Argentine all netting.
"It was said that we threw the cup or that we didn't want it, or maybe my message was misinterpreted at the beginning of the season," Messi told Barca TV .
"The team want to fight for the three competitions, as it is always Barcelona's obligation every year. We do not throw anything."
Head coach Ernesto Valverde, meanwhile, was understandably heartened by what he had witnessed .
“The best thing is that we have security and we confirmed that we are a team that when we have to take a step forward, we do it,” he explained after the match.
Certainly, the performance was a warning shot, not only to those who would challenge for their Spanish crown, but also clubs hoping to win the Champions League.
Valencia playfully took note of the formidable midweek display on social media, with a tongue-in-cheek scouting mission discovering: “Messi = good.”
Going forward, though, they have struggled and this has consequently resulted in 11 draws from 21 games.
Having signed attacker Ruben Sobrino from Alaves and Celta midfielder Facundo Roncaglia on Deadline Day, they will hope their offensive fortunes will improve – starting at Camp Nou.
Virginia Tech vs. NC State odds, line: College basketball picks, predictions from proven model on 22-10 run
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated NC State vs. Virginia Tech hoops 10,000 times.
Top 25 teams will go head-to-head on Saturday when the No. 23 NC State Wolfpack host the No. 12 Virginia Tech Hokies at PNC Arena for a noon ET tipoff. The Hokies have had the better season, with neutral-floor wins over Purdue and Washington on their resume. However, they'll likely be without point guard Justin Robinson on Saturday and that helps make the home team three-point favorites in the latest NC State vs. Virginia Tech odds with the total set at 151.5. Still, with these teams fighting for positioning in a crowded ACC race, you should expect a battle. Which is why you'll want to check out the NC State vs. Virginia Tech picks and predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine before you lock in your own selections.
The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It entered Week 13 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a strong 22-10 run on top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model takes aim at NC State vs. Virginia Tech. We can tell you the model is leaning Over, and it also has a strong against the spread pick that hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You absolutely need to see it before you lock in your own picks.
For Saturday's battle between these two ranked squads, the model knows that Virginia Tech's shot quality will be a critical element to the game with Justin Robinson(ankle) expected to be out with an injury.
Robinson is the school's all-time leader in assists, so Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have to take on a more ball-dominant role in the offense. Luckily, Alexander-Walker is pretty well-equipped to handle the job.
The sophomore is second on the team in assists and actually has possession of the ball slightly more often than Robinson when he is on the floor. He's also their most effective finisher at the rim, so if he could use his ability to get to the tin to force the NC State defense to collapse and create open looks for the second-ranked 3-point shooting team in the nation, it could mask Robinson's absence.
However, don't expect the Wolfpack to make it easy on the Hokies to cover the NC State vs. Virginia Tech spread.
Coming off the thrilling buzzer-beating win over Clemson last Saturday and an emotional overtime loss to No. 3 Virginia on Tuesday, the Wolfpack have seen it all in the last week. However, what they should be taking away from it is that they're equipped to compete with anybody, especially in their own building.
Against Virginia Tech, look for the Wolfpack to take advantage of far superior depth on Saturday. Even with Robinson in the lineup, the Hokies are 314th in the nation in bench minutes played while the Wolfpack go 10-deep and rank 35th in bench minutes. They'll have a great chance to tire the Hokies out and win the hustle stats and on the offensive glass for a significant advantage.
The biggest question in this one is whether Justin Robinson will be available. With just over ten minutes to go in the second half against Miami, he landed awkwardly and appeared to hurt his foot or ankle. Buzz Williams is notoriously quiet when it comes to injuries so it is unknown whether or not Robinson will be available for the game. He was seen walking around campus without a boot on Friday, which was a positive sign, but that does not indicate he will be ready to play. All eyes will be on Robinson and his availability because if he can not go in the game Virginia Tech is down to a 6-man rotation unless Buzz decides to give Jonathan Kabongo more minutes as he has only logged two minutes in the last 8 games.
If Robinson is in and healthy Virginia Tech has a great chance to win the game. Robinson's game has been improving and he has seen his scoring and assist totals increase the past few outings. If Robinson is out the Hokies have lost one of their main offensive weapons and will be without a true ballhandler at the point guard position. The offense always ran through Robinson, even on bad shooting days, and he set players in the right places. That task will be passed over to Nickeil Alexander-Walker and it will be the perfect time to show NBA scouts what he is capable of doing. Considered a first-round pick as a point guard, Alexander-Walker mainly plays off the ball. With Robinson missing Nickeil will be able to step into that role and see what happens. Kerry Blackshear will also need to have an increased role so his production, as well as staying out of foul trouble, is critical in this game.
NC State is the 8th best in the nation and defending the three. With Virginia Tech potentially missing Justin Robinson and playing a hot team on the road, this seems too difficult to overcome. Ahmed Hill has the chance to keep his impressive scoring streak alive and make it interesting, but with Robinson out or not fully healthy I don't think it will be enough.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 71 NC State 79
Confusion at the Orlando airport after a reported suicide
Fonseca: King Carnaval Miami 2019
A TSA agent committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of a Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Orlando International Airport on Saturday morning, sparking confusion and delays at the busy airport.
The man landed at the airport’s atrium, near some security checkpoints.
Gates 70-129 were closed for a few hours and the Federal Aviation Administration briefly grounded flights.
Orlando police reported they are working the incident at the airport, but have not released the
In a statement released to the media, Orlando International Airport (MCO) confirmed that the all of the airport is now open but there are delays because all of the passengers heading to the effected gates have to be rescreened.
Fox35 sports anchor/reporter Adam Shadoff posted a video clip of an airport when it was “at a standstill” after 10:30 a.m.
“Alright, so we’re in the Orlando airport this morning and all I hear is a loud BANG followed by people screaming. So naturally I thought there was some type of attack and started RUNNINNGGGGG. Spilling my hot coffee all over my hands,” one man posted.
For a few hours, trains from sides 2 and 4 of the airport were stopped and airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell told Click Orlando this was out of an “abundance of caution.”
Fennell told the news site some passengers may have gotten through a security checkpoint at Gates 70-129 without being screened because of “an isolated incident.”
Throughout the morning, travelers took to social media to report on the delays and confusion.
TV Long View: The Problem With Post-Super Bowl Shows
The Super Bowl is still a huge showcase for whatever program follows it; that show consistently lands among the top-rated and most-watched entertainment programs of the year. But in the past decade-plus, only a handful of those shows have seen any lasting impact to their ratings.
In 2018, for example, NBC's This Is Us took a same-day 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 into its Super Bowl episode. The post-game airing more than tripled that average with a 9.3. Two days later, the show came right back down to its pre-Super Bowl average, scoring a 2.7 in the 18-49 demo.
Since 2006, only three post-Super Bowl shows have sustained any serious ratings momentum following the showcase spot:
- In 2006, Grey's Anatomy scored a huge 16.5 in adults 18-49 for the first half of a two-part story (the infamous "bomb in a body cavity"). It then exceeded its pre-Super Bowl average in the demo in 35 of the next 37 episodes — a season and a half's worth of shows. It's by far the longest sustained run of post-Super Bowl momentum in recent history.
- In 2010, the series premiere of Undercover Boss had the biggest total audience (38.65 million) for a post-Super Bowl show since 2001, along with a 16.2 in the 18-49 demo. It finished the 2009-10 season as a top-10 show in both the demo and in total viewers; even subtracting the Super Bowl episode, it would have ranked ninth in adults 18-49 and 11th in viewers. Eight of the show's 10 most-watched episodes since the series debut aired in season one.
- In 2012, the second-season premiere of The Voice drew a 16.3 in adults 18-49 and 37.6 million viewers, more than triple the season one averages of 4.5 and 11.5 million. It stayed above those marks for eight weeks.
In every other year since 2006, no post-Super Bowl show has posted ratings above its prior season average for more than a couple of weeks. In the past six years, the ratings halo has disappeared altogether.
That doesn't bode especially well for The World's Best, which will move to Wednesday nights following Sunday's debut. In a TV landscape of virtually limitless options for viewing, a Grey's- or Undercover Boss-like run may be a thing of the past.
The two post-Super Bowl programs this decade that have bucked the trend were season or series premieres of unscripted shows, as The World's Best will be on Sunday. The show has some star power — it's hosted by James Corden and counts Drew Barrymore, RuPaul and Faith Hill as judges — and puts a bit of a twist on the talent-show format with a "wall" of experts from around the world weighing in on the acts.
Whether that's enough to convince a sizable number of viewers who stick around after the Super Bowl to keep watching in the following weeks remains to be seen. There's precedent for it happening, but the odds of sustained, above-average ratings aren't great.
Season in and season out, the Super Bowl is the most-watched broadcast across all of television for the calendar year. So when the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams raise the Lombardi Trophy this weekend, CBS will be celebrating right alongside the winning 53-man roster.
Immediately after that, it will be the “World’s Best’s” turn to pop some champagne while dreaming of ostentatious Nielsen numbers.CBS won’t make predictions for the James Corden-hosted talent show’s performance because a) that would be unbecoming and b) they really don’t know. A lousy blowout won’t help, and overtime — while it would be amazing for holding viewership late — could really push the start time too far towards (or possibly past) 11 p.m. ET.
Either way, the game and the subsequent reality competition will be a hit, though the latter likely won’t even sniff the most-watched post-Super Bowl program of all time, which happened on NBC 23 years ago.
On Jan. 28, 1996, “Friends” scored a monstrous 52.9 million viewers after the big game; hauling in a 28.2 rating in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic. That dwarfs the second-place finisher, CBS’s “Survivor” from 2001, which earned 45.4 million viewers and a 21.8 rating. Those two are the only shows since 1988 (from which reliable records are readily available) to best the massive 40-million-plus viewer mark or a gaudy 20-plus rating.
In third place is 2010’s “Undercover Boss,” besting 2006’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and 2012’s “The Voice” in total viewers, but not in the key demo rating.
At the bottom of the pile is 2003’s “Alias,” which got 17.4 million total viewers and an 8.2 demo rating. Up one spot is 2017’s “24: Legacy,” which had more total viewers (17.6 million) but the lowest demo rating on our list (6.1).
Rounding out the Bottom 5 are “The Late Show” (2016), “Elementary” (2013) and “Malcolm in the Middle” (2002).
Last year’s “This Is Us” ranks 15th in viewers with 27 million.
See TheWrap‘s list of the 31 Most and Least Watched Post-Super Bowl TV Shows: