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Real Valladolid recently came close to beating Real Madrid at home with Manucho twice putting the newly promoted side ahead before Madrid eventually rallied to win 3-2.
Barcelona, however, have been flawless on the road this season, winning all eight of their league games away from the Nou Camp. Another victory is anticipated in the final La Liga outing before the winter break with 1/4 (Paddy Power) the best price on a Barcelona win.
It would be hard to justify laying that price, doing so would have yielded nothing so far this season and although Valladolid have been performing above all expectations this season, it is hard to see them getting anything.
This will be Lionel Messi’s last chance to add to his already record breaking goal tally for the year so we would far sooner back the Argentinian to score a hat-trick at 5/1 (Bet365) than take on the Catalans.
Tito Vilanova will not be on the sidelines after having surgery earlier this week but his absence could serve as motivation for the players to give him a win. Jordi Roura, a technical analyst at the club will take charge whilst Vilanova recovers his health. Sergio Busquets commented this week that “We will all come together to help Jordi Roura, who is absolutely capable of doing a good job.”
Alex Song and Adriano will also miss the match with injuries but their absence should not harm Barca’s chances of ending the year with a victory. The 4/6 (Bet365) on the visitors to lead at the end of both halves looks like a banker as the players come out fired up. The league leaders have led in five of their eight away games at half-time whilst Valladolid’s record of being ahead in just two of their eight home matches, convinces us that the hosts will not hold out until half-time.