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Jul 11, 2020 at 6.30pm UK at José Zorrilla
Real ValladolidReal Valladolid

Alcaraz (45'), Perez (65')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Vidal (15')
Lenglet (40'), Alba (78')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Real Valladolid and Barcelona, including team news and predicted lineups.

Barcelona's pursuit of La Liga leaders Real Madrid will continue on Saturday night when they head to Estadio Municipal Jose Zorilla to take on Real Valladolid.

The Spanish champions will enter this weekend's clash off the back of a 1-0 win over Espanyol on Wednesday, while Valladolid suffered a 2-1 defeat at Valencia 24 hours earlier.

Match preview

Atletico Madrid's Hector Herrera in action with Real Valladolid's Mohammed Salisu in La Liga on October 6, 2019© Reuters

Valladolid finished 16th in La Liga last season but are heading for an improvement on that position this term as they currently sit 14th in the division with three games left.

All in all, it has been a decent campaign for the White and Violets, who are 10 points clear of the relegation zone and actually only four points off 12th-placed Levante.

Pucela have not finished higher than 14th in Spain's top flight since 2001-02, but they will fancy their chances of picking up points in their final two games of the campaign against Eibar and Real Betis.

Valladolid will enter this weekend's match off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Valencia, but they had been on a four-game unbeaten run before the clash with Los Che at the Mestalla.

Sergio Gonzalez's side have lost each of their last three league matches with Barca, although they did record a 1-0 victory over the Catalan giants on home soil back in March 2014.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 700th goal in their match against Atletico Madrid on June 30, 2020© Reuters

As it stands, Barca are second in La Liga, just a point off leaders Real Madrid, having picked up a vital win against bitter rivals Espanyol on Wednesday night.

Zinedine Zidane's side will have the chance to again move four points clear when they play their game in hand against Alaves on Friday, though, and it would be a surprise to see the capital side fail to triumph.

Barca will surely have to win their final three games of the season against Valladolid, Osasuna and Alaves to stand a chance of finishing top of the pile.

The Catalan giants have not actually lost in the league since Real Madrid beat them at the start of March, but they have drawn three of their last six in La Liga, which has seen them relinquish control of first spot.

Quique Setien's side will be the favourites to triumph this weekend, but they have lost five of their 17 away league games this term, recording just seven wins in the process.

Valladolid La Liga form: LDDDWL

Barcelona La Liga form: DWDDWW

Team News

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong after the match on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Valladolid will have Oscar Plano back from suspension this weekend, but a relatively lengthy injury list includes Jose Antonio Caro, Michel Javaloyas, Miguel de la Fuente, Matheus Fernandes and Pedro Porro.

Mohammed Salisu should overcome a knock to start, though, while Sandro Ramirez and Sergi Guardiola are also in line to return to the starting XI for the home side.

Hatem Ben Arfa was handed a start against Valencia, but the Frenchman could drop out of the selection against the champions to allow Pablo Hervias to feature.

As for Barca, Ousmane Dembele remains on the sidelines with a long-term hamstring problem, while youngster Ansu Fati is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Espanyol.

Samuel Umtiti and Junior Firpo remain doubts with knee and hip problems respectively, but Frenkie de Jong, who has been on the sidelines since the middle of June with a calf injury, has returned to training and should be fit to return in the middle of the park.

Nelson Semedo could drop out of the XI, which would see Sergi Roberto move from midfield to right-back, potentially allowing Arturo Vidal to feature in midfield.

There are not expected to be any changes further forward, though, with Antoine Griezmann again likely to join Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi as part of a front three.

Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Antonito, Olivas, Salisu, Martinez; Fede, Perez; Plano, Hervias, Guardiola; Ramirez

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Vidal; Griezmann, Suarez, Messi

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We say: Valladolid 0-2 Barcelona

Only a win will do for Barca as they chase down Real Madrid, and we are finding it difficult to see the champions slipping up here. De Jong's expected return is excellent news for the Catalan giants, who should have too much for the home side on Saturday night.

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