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December 22, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
Estadio Municipal José Zorrilla — Valladolid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 24823‎
89′ Javi Guerra
Xavi 43′
Messi 59′
Tello 90+4′

Real Valladolid - Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana seek 10th successive Liga win

Jordi Roura will lead the Catalans as stand-in coach in the absence of Tito Vilanova, who is recovering from Thursday's operation to remove a tumour from his parotid gland

By Karthick Arvinth

Carles Puyol, Tito Vilanova - FC Barcelona
Getty Images


Rukavina, Sereno, Valiente, Balenziaga
Rubio, Perez
Omar, Oscar, Bueno


Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa

Real Valladolid midfielder Alvaro Rubio is struggling with a muscle problem and could miss Saturday's Primera Division encounter with Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla.

Pucela boss Miroslav Djukic could stick with the same side that played out a goalless draw at Deportivo La Coruna on Monday.

Barcelona will again be without Cesc Fabregas, who remains sidelined with a thigh injury.

But defender Eric Abidal has returned to training for the first time since he needed a liver transplant in April and could return to first-team action in January.

Meanwhile, Barca announced on Thursday that Tito Vilanova's operation on his parotid gland had gone successfully.

  • Real Valladolid have won just two of their last six matches in La Liga.
  • The Pucela have lost their last five Liga encounters with Barcelona.
  • Valladolid's last home win over Barca was a 2-1 success in October 2002.
  • Barcelona are on a nine-match winning run in La Liga and are the only team with a 100 per cent record away from home this season.
  • The Catalan giants will face Serie A outfit AC Milan in the Champions League round of 16 on February 20 and March 12.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has netted 11 goals in his last five Liga outings for Barca.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 8, 2014 Valladolid 1 - FC Barcelona 0
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  • Match Report
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 5, 2013 FC Barcelona 4 - Valladolid 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ May 19, 2013 FC Barcelona 2 - Valladolid 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Dec 22, 2012 Valladolid 1 - FC Barcelona 3
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ May 16, 2010 FC Barcelona 4 - Valladolid 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
22D. HernándezGoalkeeper
2Antonio RukavinaDefender
4Marc ValienteDefender
7Víctor PérezMidfielder
17Carlos PeñaMidfielder
8Javier Baraja VegasDefender
18Álvaro RubioMidfielder
-Rubén PeñaMidfielder
-Juan Angel NeiraStriker
9Javi GuerraStriker
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
-Sergio GómezDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
12Jonathan Dos SantosMidfielder
9David VillaStriker
Players to Watch
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
23 2 4 0
The former Manchester United striker has shined for Valladolid this season, and is the club's chief goal threat, along with playmaker Oscar. The 29-year-old will look to produce a repeat of his performance against Real Madrid, in which he netted both goals in a 3-2 defeat.
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
27 26 1 0
The Argentine striker has enjoyed a remarkable year, even by his own high standards, netting his 89th and 90th goal of 2012 in the 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid. Having agreed a contract extension to keep him at Camp Nou until 2018 earlier in the week, Messi will look to end the year on a high by firing his team to victory over Valladolid.
The trip to Valladolid is a tricky one for Barcelona, who have been rocked by the news that Vilanova has suffered a relapse of his cancer. The hosts possess the organisation and discipline to frustrate their opponents, but Barca will be desperate to win this for their coach.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
17 0