Valladolid will host title-chasing Barca this weekend in their round of 36 La Liga match for the season.
The hosts had into this game 14th on the standings with 39 points. Their season goal remains to finish as high up the table as possible, and three points from this tie would do them a world of good.
Their form heading into this tie has been patchy with their last outing ending in a narrow defeat to Valencia while the eight games they have played since after the restart has seen them record two loses (W2, D4).
With four games still to play for, Barca remain in the hunt for the league title. They head into this tie unbeaten in nine league games with two wins in the last two.
Although the destination of the league title is no longer in their hands, they will hope to continue to pick up three points and keep the pressure on Madrid, who are four points ahead.
Valladolid are missing as many as six players through varying injuries heading into this tie. Sergio Gonzalez will be without Jose Antonio Caro (muscle injury), Micael Javaloyas, Miguel Fuenta, Matheus Fernandes, and Pedro Porro for this tie, while Mohammed Salisu is an injury doubt.
Quique Setien seems to have found his winning eleven in recent matches with Luiz Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Antonio Greizmann starting together for the second game in a row last time out. With youngster, Fati set to miss this tie through suspension picked up in the last game, the coach I expected to stick to his new trio in the attack. Meanwhile, the Catalan club will be without Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, midfielder Frankie de Jong, and Ousmane Dembele.
Head to Head
Barcelona enjoy a superior head to head in this tie with four wins from the last five meetings. Valladolid did win 1:0 in 2014 season, though.
Valladolid last five games in all competitions: LWDDD
Barca last five games in all competitions: WWDDW
Real Valladolid enter this game as betting outsiders judging by their league position and their opponents’ size and ambition.
Although they have done considerably well with one loss in their last five league games, their safety in the league is yet to be decided with twelve points still to play for.
They head into this tie unbeaten in their last four home games (W1, D3) with three clean sheets from those games. Their recent home games have featured very scanty goals with their last four featuring less than 2.5 goals.
Meanwhile, the home team has enjoyed just one half-time lead in their last 12 league games at home. They have often tended to draw in that period with a major part of their recent home games ending all square (W2, D4, L1).
Barca meanwhile are unbeaten in their last four away games with their most recent away outing ending in a 4:1 trashing of Villarreal.
They have lost just one of their last six away games (W3, D2), scoring thirteen times and keeping just two clean sheets. In that period, they failed to score in two matches. However, they scored the opening goal of the matches they netted in the first 20 minutes.
Conversely, their last three away wins have featured an opening goal from Barca in the first ten minutes. Those three wins also saw them average 3.3 goals in the first half.
However, they also conceded before the break in those three games.
Luis Suarez anytime scorer @ 1/1
Barca to win both half @ 1/1
Over 3.5 Goals @ 15/8