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Barcelona to get back to winning ways

14 February 2019 | La Liga | Preview
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Barcelona to get back to winning ways
Jose Breton- Pics Action / Shutterstock.com

The La Liga title fight is on as six points separate Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of the table. Atletico Madrid have not taken their opportunities wasting their shot at the Spanish title falling off the pace.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are coming on strong and improving by the week. Barcelona desperately need to win this week having drawn their last two matches in La Liga. Their latest draw came against Athletic Bilbao away from home and few would have expected Barcelona to go without a goal against the league’s 14th place team.

Real Valladolid go into Saturday night’s game at Camp Nou in 15th place. They have won just twice in their last 13 La Liga games with seven ending in defeat. Goals have been very difficult to come by as seven times Valladolid have been held to a clean sheet. Valladolid have tallied the fewest goals in La Liga (19). Surprisingly, they have only allowed 28 goals. The team’s defence has kept it out of the relegation zone, but only three points currently separate it with the bottom three.

Lionel Messi featured against Athletic in Barcelona’s previous game having been passed fit. The Argentine could be held out of Barcelona’s squad against Valladolid, however. Barcelona face Lyon in the last-16 of the Champions League next Tuesday night. Manager Ernesto Valverde could rest the Argentine – or play him sparingly – to keep him fresh for the Champions League. The problem with that idea is Barcelona are not as strong without Messi as they are with him. An argument can be made that Messi’s overall influence over the team is slipping as evidenced by Athletic’s draw last weekend.

In 17 of Barcelona’s and Valladolid’s last 21 games against each other, there have been 2.0 or more goals scored. Barcelona should once again find their shooting boots this weekend. Messi and Luis Suarez have combined for 36 La Liga goals. They are once again the league’s deadliest duo.

Valverde will have centre-back Samuel Umtiti available for selection. Umtiti has been sidelined for the last three months with a knee injury. His return is timely with Barcelona fighting to keep their six point La Liga lead. The next 30 days are crucial for Barcelona. They play Lyon twice in the Champions League and must face Real Madrid once more in the Copa del Rey semi-final.

Barcelona will start off with a win over Valladolid at home as they find the back of the net with regularity. Messi and company will defeat Valladolid and over 2.5 goals will be scored.

Predictions for La Liga

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_5 Es1
Atlético MadridValencia CF
24/04/2019 18:30
1
flag_5 Es1
CD LeganesAthletic Bilbao
24/04/2019 19:30
X
flag_5 Es1
RCD EspanyolCelta de Vigo
24/04/2019 19:30
1
flag_5 Es1
Levante UDReal Betis
24/04/2019 20:30
2

Spain La Liga - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Barcelona 80 34 24 8 2 85 32 53
2. Atlético Madrid 68 33 20 8 5 48 21 27
3. Real Madrid 64 33 20 4 9 59 38 21
4. Getafe CF 54 33 14 12 7 43 29 14
5. Valencia CF 52 33 12 16 5 38 28 10
6. Sevilla FC 52 33 15 7 11 54 42 12
7. Athletic Bilbao 46 33 11 13 9 36 40 -4
8. Deportivo Alavés 46 34 12 10 12 35 44 -9
9. Real Betis 43 33 12 7 14 39 45 -6
10. RCD Espanyol 42 33 11 9 13 39 48 -9
11. Real Sociedad 41 33 10 11 12 39 41 -2
12. CD Leganes 41 33 10 11 12 33 38 -5
13. SD Eibar 40 34 9 13 12 42 47 -5
14. Villarreal CF 36 33 8 12 13 42 46 -4
15. Real Valladolid 35 34 8 11 15 29 47 -18
16. Celta de Vigo 35 33 9 8 16 47 56 -9
17. Girona FC 34 34 8 10 16 34 47 -13
18. Levante UD 34 33 8 10 15 47 61 -14
19. SD Huesca 29 34 6 11 17 37 55 -18
20. Rayo Vallecano 28 33 7 7 19 36 57 -21

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