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Primera División

  • December 22, 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio Municipal José Zorrilla, Valladolid
  • Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
  • • Attendance: 24823
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Real Valladolid - Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana seek 10th successive Liga win

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

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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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


VALLADOLID

Cagliari
 Hernandez
Rukavina, Sereno, Valiente, Balenziaga
Rubio, Perez
Omar, Oscar, Bueno
Manucho


BARCELONA

Juventus
Valdes
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.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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.

Players to watch

Manucho Gonçalves

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 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.

L. Messi

Position: Attacker

Games: 8

  • 7
  • 0
  • 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.

Editor's Prediction

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Valladolid

Barcelona

Wins
1
0
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol VLD
Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol Real Valladolid
Draw
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
18%
80%

Top 3 Predictions

Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol VLD
0 - 3
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol VLD
0 - 4
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol VLD
1 - 3
FC Barcelona FCB

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