Valladolid take on the visitors Barcelona in the round 36 match of Spanish LaLiga. The match will be played on Tuesday, May 23rd at Estadio José Zorrilla (Valladolid).
Valladolid are a fairly modest project that, however, have mostly played in La Liga in recent years. They lost their top-flight status in 2021, but under the guidance of Paketa, who took over the team, they managed to regain it immediately from Sevilla. They have been regularly picking up points in La Liga. Nevertheless, Ronaldo decided to dismiss the coach after a humiliating defeat, albeit against Real Madrid. Ronaldo appointed a coach well-known to him, Pecolano, who had previously worked successfully with another project of the former forward, "Cruzeiro." Paulo didn't have a similar experience, and he hadn't been in Spain before, but that didn't stop him from making his debut with 7 points taken in the first 3 rounds in the new position: they regrettably squandered a two-goal advantage over Mallorca but then won against strong and motivated Villarreal and Girona. However, they followed that up with a 1-2 loss to direct competitor Valencia, which was followed by more setbacks. They were also unlucky, as evidenced by the disallowed goal against Sevilla, which happened when the score was 0-0. But after a 0-3 defeat in that match, they conceded 2 unanswered goals from another direct competitor, Cadiz.
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Barcelona had some problems both on the field and off it this season. One can recall their 3rd place finish in the Champions League group stage, for the second consecutive time, followed by a defeat to Manchester United in the round of 16. Recently, they also suffered a humiliating thrashing at Camp Nou against Real, even though a draw would have been enough for overall success. Non-sporting problems are also abundant, from the "Neymar case" to the official ban on transfers and registration of new contracts imposed by the leadership of La Liga. But for now, all of this is more than compensated by long-awaited trophies. First, the young coach lifted the Spanish Super Cup by defeating Real in the decisive match. Shortly after, winning the spring "El Clasico," the Catalans finally distanced themselves from the "galacticos" in La Liga. As a result, in May, they secured the title in an away match against their neighbor, Espanyol. After that, they lost at home to Real Sociedad, and Lewandowski scored the final goal in the 92nd minute, making it 1-2.
In 2014, Valladolid won, but that was just a one-time exception from the general rule. All other matches in recent years have been won by Barcelona, including this season when Lewandowski and company secured a 4-0 victory. The hosts are much more motivated, but it is unlikely to overcome the difference in class. We bet that the "Blaugrana" will be able to secure a victory here.
Prediction for the match: Barcelona to win.