After going three matches without a victory in all competitions, Barcelona are looking to get back on track against Valladolid on Saturday.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn three tricky fixtures in succession, held twice at Camp Nou – 2-2 in La Liga by Valencia and 1-1 by Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey – before a goalless draw away to Athletic Club last weekend.
Their weekend opponents, meanwhile, are floating precariously above the relegation zone, having drawn 0-0 with Villarreal a week ago.
||Barcelona vs Real Valladolid
||Saturday, February 16
||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET
|Stream (US only)
||fubo TV (7-day free trial)
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel
|beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol
||fubo TV (7-day free trial)
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be streamed via Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel
||Eleven Sports 1
Squads & Team News
||Ter Stegen, Pena
||Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Miranda, Gonzalez, Chumi, Murillo, Vermaelen
||Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Boateng, Alena, Roberto
||Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Malcom
Barcelona have a familiar collection of injury problems for head coach Ernesto Valverde ahead of this encounter.
Second-string goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is still out along with long-term victim Rafinha and Arthur Melo.
Samuel Umtiti is nearing a return to action but the odds are this game will come too soon for him.
Possible Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez, Dembele
||Real Valladolid squad
||Calero, Joaquin, Kiko, Moyano, Angulo, Nacho
||Borja Fernandez, Anuar, Keko, Herrero, Villa, Verde
||Guardiola, Unal, Cop, Plaza
Real Valladolid lost winger Pablo Hervias, who signed on loan in January from Eibar, due to a knee problem, while Luismi is still sidelined with a long-term ankle concern.
Oscar Plano is banned, while Ruben Alcaraz is also out.
Possible Valladolid starting XI: Masip; Moyano, Olivas, Calero, Martinez; Borja Fernandez, Anuar; Keko, Herrero, Villa; Unal
Betting & Match Odds
Barcelona are hot 1/7 favourites with , while Real Valladolid are 14/1 to cause a huge upset. A draw is priced aat 8/1.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
With no midweek action and the return of the Champions League, it’s been a relatively low-key build up for Barcelona ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Real Valladolid.
During this quiet period, Barca have started to look to the future, tying down coach Valverde to a one-year contract extension.
However, things are about to take a step up in intensity for Ernesto Valverde’s side over the coming days, with a trip to Lyon in Europe set to follow quickly on the heels of this encounter.
Nevertheless, having seen their lead at the summit of La Liga cut to six points by in-form Real Madrid, it is one that they cannot afford to falter in.
Meanwhile, Ajax’s encounter against Real Madrid gave fans a glimpse of Frenkie de Jong, who will join the squad in the summer.
The midfielder has been dubbed “perfect” for the Catalans by Patrick Kluivert.
“When he receives the ball, he already knows where to play it, he always looks for vertical passes towards other central midfielders or strikers,” the Dutchman said.
That will be music to the ears of Lionel Messi, who is expected to stay at the club “forever”, according to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“He has told us that he wants to continue. We have offered him a new contract over five years and I hope we will continue discussing the deal,” he told RKB.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Argentine has been to the forefront of Valladolid’s thinking over the course of the last week to, although Sergio Gonzalez has warned there is far more to Barca than the diminutive Argentine, who may even be rotated out of the team given his recent injury concerns.
“It would be wrong for us to focus on Messi,” Gonzalez said. “We do everything as a squad, and if we have to stop Messi, we will also do it as a squad.”
He even hinted he would be rather relieved not to see the 29-goal forward on the field.
“I always think the best players have to be on the park, but if Ernesto decides to give him a rest it would not be bad,” he conceded. “Messi is the best and deep down I want him to play, but at the same time if he has to rest then this would be the time.”
After a scoreless draw against Villarreal and an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Huesca, the pressure is on the strugglers to bounce back but it promises to be an immense test.