Barcelona resume their La Liga campaign this weekend when they host Real Valladolid at Camp Nou, as they seek a return to winning ways.
The Blaugrana sit six points ahead of rivals Real Madrid, but have drawn their last two encounters and failed to score at Athletic Bilbao last time out - ending their impressive run of having scored in each of their league games this term.
From: Sunday 11 February 2018— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 12 February 2019
To: Sunday 10 February 2019
or 11 months, 30 days
or 52 weeks
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Their struggling opponents Real Valladolid, meanwhile, picked up a point against relegation
Here's 90min's preview of Saturday's clash.
Where To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 16 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Camp Nou|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 1|
Ernesto Valverde could rest a number of key players before Tuesday's crucial Champions League first leg at Lyon, though it's expected that Lionel Messi will start.
Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen isn't expected to return until mid March, but the Catalan giants have been boosted Samuel Umtiti's return to training this week after a two month absence.
|Barcelona||Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Coutinho, Messi, Suarez.|
|Real Valladolid||Masip; Antonito, Kiko, Calero, Nacho; Keko, Alcaraz, Borja, Avila; Plano, Guardiola.|
Head to Head Record
In 19 encounters in La Liga, Barcelona boast 13 wins to Valladolid's two, with four ending in all square.
August's corresponding fixture saw Barça snatch a 1-0 victory at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla thanks to Ousmane Dembele's solitary strike.
Despite dropping points in recent weeks, Barcelona are well on course for a 26th La Liga title, having lost just twice thus far.
Netting 21 goals in 21 outings, their chances of domestic and European success rely heavily on the shoulders of star man Lionel Messi, whose proving once again that age is just a number.
This is the first of four fixtures in 13 days for Valverde's outfit, with two El Clásico fixtures upcoming against Santiago Solari's Real Madrid.
In contrast, the division's lowest scorers come into this clash having won just twice in their previous 10 fixtures. Currently sitting 15th, Pucela find themselves among a number of teams scrapping it out to preserve their top flight status.
Here's how each side has faired in their last five fixtures.
|Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona (10/02)||Real Valladolid 0-0 Villarreal (08/02)|
|Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (06/02)||Huesca 4-0 Real Valladolid (01/02)|
|Barcelona 2-2 Valencia (02/02)||Real Valladolid 2-1 Celta Vigo (27/01)|
|Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla (30/01)||Levante 2-0 Real Valladolid (20/01)|
|Girona 0-2 Barcelona (27/01)||Real Valladolid 1-1 Getafe (15/01)|
Having scored 38 goals in their 12 La Liga home games, Barcelona will be hot favourites to overwhelm Valladolid.
Lionel Messi poses the home side's main goal threat, though Barça possess quality all over the pitch. Valladolid have been somewhat goal shy this season, and it will take a monumental effort to add to the 19 goals they have scored.
Chances of an upset are slim, with Barcelona likely to notch another three points with a routine victory
Prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Real Valladolid