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After a winning start to their 2018/19 Liga season, Barça head to Valladolid for a Saturday at 10.15pm CEST kick-off looking to make it six points out of six.
Ernesto Valverde has called up the following 18 players: Ter Stegen, Ezkieta,Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Luis Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Malcom, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Vidal and Umtiti.
Rafinha, Paco Alcácer, Munir and Vermaelen have been left out, whilst Aleñá, Denis Suárez, Samper and Cillessen are injured.
For Valladolid, goalkeeper Jordi Masip will play against a Barça side he left in order to gain first-team minutes, and some of Valladolid’s new signings may make their debut.
In his pre-match press conference on Friday evening, Ernesto Valverde noted that: “Valladolid are a team that plays very well, with the lines close together. They were great defensively against Girona and earned a draw.”
“Outside of the Camp Nou, it’s always more difficult because of the rival’s enthusiasm. It’s possible that both teams will be equal because of the joy of the last promotion.”
His opposite number, Sergio González, kept his cards close to his chest and would only say that his team “will stick to its defensive scheme as it had resulted in a positive performance.”
After winning the Spanish Super Cup in Morocco, Barça won their opening game of the season Liga against Alavés, while newly promoted Valladolid earned a creditable draw against Girona.
Did you know?
The last time that the two teams met at the Estadio José Zorilla, Valladolid were the winners (1-0), but Barça have only lost on one other occasion there in the last 20 years.
Barça are looking to win their first two fixtures of a Liga campaign for the seventh consecutive year.
If he plays, Gerard Piqué will be making his 300th Liga appearance in an FC Barcelona shirt.
The playing surface in Valladolid has been one of the talking points in the build-up. The new grass has had less than a week to settle, and hopefully won't be added concern for the Barça players.
Valladolid is buzzing after the local club returned to the top flight this summer. Season ticket sales have doubled and the game with Barça is sold out. They've even re-named a street in honour of the team!
Our guide will help you work out the kick off time where you are in the world, and also which TV channels are showing the game. But if you can’t see it for whatever reason, don’t forget that we have live commentary in English on Radio Barça (the link will appear on the home page shortly before the game starts) plus regular updates on our official Twitter feed.
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