LaLiga 2018-19, Real Valladolid vs Barcelona: Match Preview, Predictions, Venue and Where to Watch Details
The defending champions have already laid down the baton after a convincing performance last week. Ernesto Valverde did face a lot of criticism after last season despite having finished as champions. But with a solitary defeat in the league last season, Barcelona is the firm favourite this season.
In the process, they have already strengthened over the summer by adding much-needed steel in the form of Arthuro Vidal.
While Barcelona, were solid in their first game with the talismanic Messi scoring a brace, there was Coutinho who added the third via a sublime finish after a jinking run into the box.
Valladolid, on the other hand, picked up their first point after a hiatus from the top flight for the past four years. They did struggle in their game against Girona where they managed only a solitary shot on target.
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Kickoff information
Date: 26 August
Kickoff: 22:15 (local time), 1:45 AM (IST)
Live Stream: Live on La Liga's Facebook page (Indian sub-continent only) - https://www.facebook.com/LaLiga/
Venue: Estadio José Zorrilla
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Team News
Real Valladolid: Sergio Gonzalez's team despite their limitations managed to qualify for La Liga via the playoffs. Their summer business involved bringing in Enes Unal and Leo Suarez on loan from Villarreal and Standard Liege forward Duje Cop respectively in addition to the existing squad.
However, there is a chance they may not play a role in this game with Toni Villa and Keko expected to provide ammunition from the wings. The hosts though lost only 5 games last season and will rely on their home form if they are to avoid a relegation battle.
Their defensive solidarity was on display in their previous game as they escaped with a goalless draw.
While it is an occasion to welcome the defending champions, an upset seems unlikely on the cards. Valladolid will do well if they can gain anything from the match as they look to upset the odds.
Barcelona: Messi, Coutinho, Suarez, and Dembele are expected to start this game. And despite the emphatic 3-0 scoreline, last time around, Barcelona still need to work on their fluidity. Despite that, Messi scored the 6000th goal for Barcelona having scored the 5000th goal as well. And another impressive statistic is that out of the 1000 goals in between, Messi has scored 452.
Valverde experimented with 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 formation in his opening season and will probably go for a similar formation in this game. This may at times be a requisite for the Spaniard with the amount of attacking riches available to him.
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Probable Line-ups
Real Valladolid: Jordi Masip (GK), Nacho, Fernando Calero, Kiko Olivas, Javi Moyano, Borja Fernandez, Ruben Alcaraz, Keko, Anuar Mohamed Tuhami, Laureano Antonio Villa Suárez, Christopher Ramos de la Flor
Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Sergio Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Arthuro Vidal, Malcolm, Phillipe Coutinho, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Form Guide
Last five matches in all competitions
Real Valladolid: D-D-W-W-W
Barcelona: W-W-W-W-LValladolid, on the other hand, picked up their first point after a hiatus from the top flight for the past four years
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Key Players
Real Valladolid: Joe Masip the keeper will have a pivotal role to play in the game. Having kept a clean sheet last weekend, Masip will hope to add to that tally. Having risen through the youth ranks of Barcelona, Masip only made a solitary league appearance for the club.
Barcelona: The only change in the starting line up will be the return of Coutinho. Sergi Roberto is also expected to start at right-back having started in central midfield at the Camp Nou last time out. Arturo Vidal, Malcolm, Arthur Melo have been the additions this summer and Valverde will look to try them as well.
Real Valladolid - Barcelona: Predictions
Barcelona is the expected favorites and will have the chance to pick up three points. And their record speaks for itself having lost only a couple of matches among their past 50. That said, anything less than a victory is bound to put pressure on them.
Predicted Score: 3-0