Real Valladolid vs Barcelona

A textbook definition of a lopsided contest takes place at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla as relegation-battling Real Valladolid lock horns with newly-crowned La Liga champions Barcelona.

Valladolid’s mini-revival in April (W2, D1) now looks like a distant memory after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at fellow relegation rivals Cadiz condemned them to a fifth straight loss in La Liga, leaving ‘Los Pucelanos’ on the periphery of safety at the start of this round. New manager Paulo Pezzolano has lost his winning touch following a promising start to his touchline career at Valladolid. But level on points with 17th-placed Cadiz, he could still save his team from damnation, though arresting a seven-game losing streak against Barcelona doesn’t seem possible now. Not only have his men lost their last seven top-flight H2Hs, but they failed to get on the scoresheet in six, including a 4-0 romping at Camp Nou in the reverse fixture.

As for Barcelona, complacency after being crowned La Liga champions for the first time since 2018/19 caught up with Xavi Hernandez’s side as they relinquished points at Camp Nou for the first time this season, with Real Sociedad winning 2-1 in Catalonia last weekend. Taking a trip outside the city may not be a welcoming distraction, at least based on Barca’s indifferent three-game form on hostile turf (W1, D1, L1). However, after winning their last three top-flight visits to Valladolid ‘to nil,’ the ‘Blaugrana’ should take the field in a buoyant mood. Yet, with three of their four La Liga defeats this season coming away from home, it’s difficult to rule out another upset, especially if they concede first. The visitors have lost three of their four away league games when falling behind in 2022/23 (W1).

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