The 2020-21 edition of La Liga is back in action this week as Barcelona take on Real Valladolid at the Jose Zorrilla Stadium on Wednesday. Barcelona have not been at their best this season and cannot afford to drop points in this fixture.
Real Valladolid have been inconsistent with their performances and are currently battling to keep their distance from the relegation zone. The home side held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw over the weekend and will need to put in a similar performance in this fixture.
Barcelona's budding winning streak was cut short by Valencia in their previous game and the Catalans will want to earmark their festive period with an important away victory. Ronald Koeman's side is currently in a dismal fifth place in the La Liga standings and has plenty of work to do to turn its season around.
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona have a predictably excellent record against Real Valladolid and have won 12 matches out of a total of 14 games played between the two sides. Real Valladolid have defeated Barcelona on only one occasion in the recent past and need to take it up a notch in this fixture.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place earlier this year and ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for Barcelona. Real Valladolid put up a robust low block on the day and are likely to take a similar approach to this match.
Real Valladolid form guide in La Liga: D-W-L-D-W
Barcelona form guide in La Liga: D-W-W-L-W
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Team News
Real Valladolid will have to do without Kiko Olivas and Saidy Janko against Barcelona in La Liga this week. Joaquin Fernandez is also carrying a knock but should be able to start this game.
Injured: Kiko Olivas, Saidy Janko
Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique, and Sergi Roberto are long-term absentees for Barcelona and have been ruled out of this week's fixture. Ousmane Dembele has made progress with his recovery over the past few weeks but is unlikely to be risked in this match. Ronald Araujo has been exceptional for the Catalans and is set to start this game.
Injured: Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto
Doubtful: Ousmane Dembele
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Real Valladolid Predicted XI (4-4-2): Jordi Masip; Raul Garcia, Bruno Gonzalez, Joaquin Fernandez, Pablo Hervias; Oscar Plano, Roque Mesa, Ruben Alcaraz, Fabian Orellana; Sergi Guardiola, Shon Weissman
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Oscar Mingueza, Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong; Pedri, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann; Martin Braithwaite
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona have been well below their best this season and cannot afford another catastrophe against Real Valladolid. Ronald Koeman has been heavily criticised for his decisions this season and needs to make a statement on the pitch before the end of the year.
Real Valladolid have a robust defence and will present the Catalans with a staunch challenge. Barcelona have plenty of talent in their ranks, however, and should be able to win this match.
Prediction: Real Valladolid 1-3 Barcelona
Published 21 Dec 2020, 20:02 IST