Real Valladolid v Barcelona As it happened – Barca overcome late scare in the Zorrilla – La Liga 2018-19 - New Gersy

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Real Valladolid v Barcelona As it happened – Barca overcome late scare in the Zorrilla – La Liga 2018-19

Both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele start for Barcelona in their Liga game away to promoted side Valladolid on Saturday night.

The Brazilian came off the bench to score a fine goal in Barca’s 3-0 win over Alaves last weekend in the first round of matches and has been rewarded with a start at Zorrilla.
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Dembele, who impressed in that game but was erratic with his finishing, is included again alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack.

Sergi Roberto returns to the right-back role for the Catalans, having started in midfield in their Liga opener at Camp Nou last Saturday.

With second-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen sidelined for a couple of weeks with injury, Barca B’s Jokin Ezkieta starts on the bench.

Summer signings Arthur, Arturo Vidal, Malcom and Clement Lenglet have also been named as substitutes.

Turkey forward Enes Unal starts in attack for Valladolid, with Croatian striker Duje Cop on the bench after arriving this week on loan from Standard Liege.

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 Past meetings and progress

Barcelona began their La Liga campaign with a 3-0 win over Alaves thanks to a double from Lionel Messi and a strike from Philippe Coutinho.

The Argentinian was instrumental in the victory, scoring a sublime free-kick, and Ernesto Valverde will be looking to his captain to provide inspiration ahead of their away trip to Real Valladolid.

Start time
La Liga 2018 with kick-off scheduled for off at 9:15pm BST on Saturday 25 August.

Valladolid are about to kick off at home for the first time in what is their 43rd season in the top flight, having returned to La Liga after four years in Spain’s Segunda Division.

The newly-promoted side returned to the top flight with an impressive point away to Girona after a 0-0 draw.

Their stadium, the Jose Zorrilla (named after a famous 19th Century poet born in the city), is not quite full for this one, with a few spaces noticeable in the 26,512-seat venue.

Valladolid actually beat Barca 1-0 here in the teams’ last Liga meeting, back in March 2014.

Team News

Every member of the Barcelona squad has been involved in training this week including new signing Arturo Vidal, who arrived at the Nou Camp this week from Bayern Munich. A debut this Sunday seems unlikely, however.

Sergi Samper is the only player in the squad sidelined through injury.

There could be debuts however for Brazilian duo Arthur and Malcom, summer arrivals from Gremio and AS Roma respectively, with Clément Lenglet hoping for his first Barcelona start against his former employers.

Rafinha Alcantara, back at the club after spending the second half of last season on loan at Inter Milan, will be hoping for an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular role in midfield, with competition for places intensifying by the day.

Aleix Vidal could make his Sevilla against his former club, following his return to Andalucia this summer.

Predicted line-ups

Alaves starting XI: Vaclik, Mercado, Kjaer, Gnagnon, Navas, Banega, Roque Mesa, Escudero, Nolito, Sarabia, Ben Yedder

Barcelona starting XI: Cillessen, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Arthur, Rafinha, Messi, Munir, Dembélé

More To Know
Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona
La Liga 2018   | 
Camp Nou   
|  Sunday 25 August 
| 7:15pm BST

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