17 February 2019
La Liga toppers Barcelona welcome a vulnerable Real Valladolid team to Camp Nou looking to end a two-game league winless streak (D2).
Mainly thanks to Atletico Madrid’s mediocre displays in the past couple of weeks, the reigning holders currently have a solid six-point lead over at the moment second-placed Real Madrid. Although last weekend’s goalless draw with Athletic Bilbao saw Barcelona failing to hit the back of the net for the first time this campaign, the Catalans (60) remain by far the best attacking team in the Spanish top flight. Not only Barca’s tally of 38 goals scored at home represents a comfortable league high, but Ernesto Valverde’s men have also managed to bag 2+ match goals more times than any other team in Spain this term – 11 of 12 LL home games. The Blaugrana’s chief problem seems to be relating to their defensive outputs that have seen them failed to preserve a clean slate eight times at home while allowing 2+ match goals on four occasions in the process.
Meanwhile, the visitors’ disappointing run of form has seen them secure just one triumph in their last eight La Liga outings (W1, D3, L4). A poor haul of four points in their previous four LL games is the reason the returnees now frantically look over their shoulders as they sit just three points above the relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano. Winless in their last five road meetings across all competitions (D2, L3), the Pucelanos barely stand a chance against the league leaders, especially given the fact they’ve struggled to keep a clean sheet on nine consecutive road trips. Another major worry for Sergio Gonzalez is his team’s tally of nine goals scored 12 LL away clashes, which is a league joint-low.
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