Real Valladolid vs Barcelona - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Barcelona’s title hopes are fading and it must win every game to stand a chance
- The narrow margin of its victory over a hapless Espanyol side came as a surprise
- Valladolid has little to play for after securing its top-flight status for another year
|What||Real Valladolid vs Barcelona|
|Where||Estadio Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain|
|When||Saturday, 11 July 2020, 1.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
The opportunity was there for Barcelona to seize. Playing before Real Madrid in game week 35, it had the chance to move to within a point of its grand rival at the top of the La Liga table. It was also looking to build on its 4-1 thumping of Villarreal a few days prior, which was by far the team’s best performance since the Spanish league resumed last month.
Yet Barcelona let the opportunity pass it by. It did not completely fluff its lines against Espanyol, ultimately collecting the three points it needed to remain part of the title conversation, but its all-round display was disappointing in the extreme. Espanyol’s relegation was confirmed by its loss to its city rival, but it was as good as down before the match. Even so, Barcelona labored to a narrow 1-0 victory that will hardly have left Madrid’s players quaking in their boots.
Quique Setien’s side could argue it was hamstrung by the sending-off of Ansu Fati, who was dismissed in the 50th minute. But Espanyol were reduced to 10 men soon after, and Barcelona had not created too many clear-cut chances when it was 11 against 11 in the first half. In fact, the best opportunities in the opening 45 minutes fell to a visiting team that had lost each of its last five encounters.
Luis Suarez’s effort ultimately decided the game – he is now third in the club’s all-time top scorer list – but by the end of the 90 minutes Barcelona had registered a pitiful expected goals rate of 0.9 compared to its demoted opponent’s 0.83. This, alas, was not the performance of champions.
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Odds
|Match result and both teams to score||Odds|
|Barcelona and No||+115|
|Barcelona and Yes||+210|
Odds taken from BetMGM
Having said all that, Barcelona should extend its winning run to three games this weekend. For starters, it has better players than Valladolid in all areas of the pitch, while the favorite also has more motivation than its opponent, which is already safe from relegation.
However, that does mean that Valladolid will be able to play without pressure, so it could be worth backing it to find the net at a minimum. Scoring goals has been a problem for Sergio Gonzalez’s side this season but there has been a slight improvement in recent games.
Champions League Would Save Barcelona’s Season – but Don’t Bank on It
The title race is far from over, even if Madrid is likely to have restored its four-point lead by the time Barcelona takes to the field on Saturday. Zinedine Zidane’s men will lock horns with Alaves a day earlier, and victory at the Santiago Bernabeu would put Los Blancos within touching distance of the championship.
Madrid still has to play Granada, Villarreal and Leganes this term, all of which would love to play the role of party pooper. But it is difficult to envision the club from the capital slipping up from here. It has played with a steely-eyed determination in recent weeks, conceding very few goals and stacking up the wins to usurp Barcelona at the summit of the standings.
Some Blaugrana fans may be beginning to look to the Champions League in August, but Barcelona does not look particularly well equipped to win that tournament either. A significant summer awaits a club which appears to have lost its identity, and victory over Valladolid – no matter the margin – would not assuage the doubts.
Valladolid Keen to Better Last Season’s Position and Points Tally
Valladolid can afford to celebrate another successful season, despite there being three games remaining. In its first season back in La Liga last term, the team amassed 41 points to achieve a respectable 16th-place finish. Currently, in the 14th spot and on 39 points, it is on course to go one better in both regards.
Valladolid’s survival bid has been built on a solid defense. Remarkably, it has only conceded three more goals than Barcelona despite being substantially worse off in terms of points. But now that demotion is no longer possible, Valladolid might opt to throw off the shackles for this one.
Barcelona Should Take Maximum Points but It Might Not Be Convincing
Such is the disparity of resources and player quality, Barcelona could operate at 50 per cent capacity and still beat Valladolid. Its problems are clear for all to see, but it should still have enough quality – particularly at the top of the pitch with Suarez and Lionel Messi – to remain in the title race for now.
Yet Barcelona has shown enough defensive vulnerability in recent times to suggest that a Valladolid team without any pressure on its shoulders could have some joy going forward. For the third away match in a row, a clean sheet could prove elusive.
Take the Yes option here – Barcelona will probably pick up the win but a second defensive shut-out in five games might be beyond it.