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Preview: Real Valladolid vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's La Liga clash between Real Valladolid and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways in La Liga when they take on an improving Real Valladolid on Tuesday night.

Ronald Koeman's side, who are currently fifth in Spain's top flight, were held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia on Saturday, while Valladolid picked up an excellent point at Sevilla.

Match preview

Real Valladolid manager Sergio Gonzalez pictured on January 2020© Reuters

Valladolid have collected 14 points from their 14 La Liga matches this season to sit 17th in the table, just one point outside of the relegation zone ahead of Tuesday's clash with Barca.

There is no question that the White and Violets have shown improvement in recent weeks, though, losing just one of their last six in the league, which came away at division leaders Atletico Madrid.

Since a 2-0 defeat at Villarreal on November 2, Valladolid have beaten Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Osasuna, in addition to drawing with Levante and Sevilla.

Lucas Ocampos sent Sevilla ahead from the penalty spot in the 31st minute of Saturday's contest, but Raul Garcia came up with an 87th-minute leveller for Sergio Gonzalez's side, who are currently operating in their third straight season at this level of football.

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 19, 2020© Reuters

Barca, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday's clash off the back of a 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday; Lionel Messi and Ronald Araujo both scored to hand the Catalan giants a 2-1 lead early in the second period, but Maxi Gomez came up with a 69th-minute leveller for Los Che.

A record of six wins, three draws and four defeats has brought Koeman's side 21 points, which has left them in fifth position in the table, eight points behind leaders Atletico, who have a game in hand.

It is difficult to write off Barca at this early stage of the season, but the Catalan side have really struggled for consistency this term and have a number of issues to address.

Messi scored his 643rd goal for Barca against Valencia, which moved him level with Pele in terms of strikes for a single club, but the Argentina international is widely expected to move on next summer, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain said to be firmly in the hunt.

The 26-time Spanish champions recorded a 1-0 victory in the corresponding match last season, but they did suffer a 1-0 defeat to Valladolid during the 2013-14 La Liga campaign.

Real Valladolid La Liga form: WWDLWD
Real Valladolid form (all competitions): WDLWWD

Barcelona La Liga form: LWLWWD
Barcelona form (all competitions): WLLWWD

Team News

Barcelona's Ansu Fati in action with Villarreal's Dani Parejo in La Liga on September 27, 2020© Reuters

Valladolid will again be without the services of Joaquin Fernandez, Saidy Janko, Javi Moyano and Kiko Olivas through injury, but Sergio's side did not pick up any fresh issues against Sevilla.

Sergi Guardiola, Ruben Alcaraz and Jota all came off the bench at Estadio Ramon and are options for change, but it would not be a surprise to see the same XI sent onto the field.

Maranhao and Shon Weissman should continue as the front two, while Fabian Orellana and Oscar Plano are expected to retain their positions in the wide areas.

As for Barca, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati remain on the sidelines, while Ousmane Dembele is also unlikely to be involved despite recently returning to first-team training following a hamstring issue.

Koeman is expected to make alterations from the side that started against Valencia, with Clement Lenglet and Frenkie de Jong likely to come in for Oscar Mingueza and Philippe Coutinho.

Miralem Pjanic and Trincao are also pushing for starts, but Pedri, Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite are expected to retain their spots in support of Messi.

Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Hervias, Bruno, El Yamiq, Garcia; Orellana, Mesa, Fede, Plano; Weissman, Maranhao

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets; Braithwaite, Pedri, Griezmann; Messi

SM words green background

We say: Real Valladolid 1-2 Barcelona

Valladolid's recent performances and indeed results have been encouraging, and it would not be a surprise to see them move clear of the relegation zone in the coming weeks. Barca desperately need to return to winning ways, though, and we fancy Koeman's side to edge a close game on Tuesday night.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman pictured in October 2020
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Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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