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Valencia boss Marcelino banned from touchline for Barcelona clash

Ahead of the clash between La Liga's top two, ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains why Barcelona aren't underestimating Valencia.

Valencia coach Marcelino will have to watch Sunday's game against La Liga leaders Barcelona from the Mestalla stands.

Marcelino was handed a two-match touchline ban following his dismissal during his side's 2-0 La Liga win at Espanyol on Sunday.

The 52-year-old was handed his marching orders in the 62nd minute for protesting too much to referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) banned him for two matches and although Valencia presented evidence to have the punishment reduced, their appeal failed.

Marcelino will be absent from the dugout on Sunday and for next week's encounter at Getafe.

A statement from the Competition Commitee of the RFEF read: "Having evaluated the visual and written allegations presented by Valencia CF, we consider that what was written in the game report by the referee is compatible with what occurred.

Marcelino Valencia
Marcelino will be in the stands for Valencia's games against Barcelona and Getafe.

"Hence, the allegations have been rejected and we confirm the two-match ban to Marcelino Garcia Toral and fine him €600 while the club is fined €700."

The news is a blow for Valencia, who have impressed under Marcelino since his arrival this summer as a replacement for Voro.

Valencia have had their best ever start to La Liga this season, winning eight and drawing three of their opening 12 games, leaving them second in the standings, four points adrift of leaders Barcelona. They are on an eight-match winning run in the league.

Anything but a defeat on Sunday at the Mestalla will see Valencia equal the record set by Rafa Benitez's side that went unbeaten in 13 straight games and went on to win the league title in the 2001-02 campaign.

Marcelino has never been able to beat Barcelona in his coaching career, suffering 11 defeats and three draws in 14 past encounters in all competitions.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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