Hello everyone and welcome along to this Barcelona vs Real Valladolid live blog, for the final game of Matchday 29 in LaLiga Santander. Barcelona know that they can finish the night just one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid and they have a great chance to do so against a Real Valladolid side missing 12 first-team squad members. We’ll have the build-up right here, before minute-by-minute updates from the match itself after the 21:00 CEST kick off. All updates follow the below image, the with the latest ones at the top.
Minute 16: Messi has a freekick… but it’s wide
Real Valladolid give away a freekick in the Messi zone. He comes close to whipping it in, but his effort does go wide past Jordi Masip‘s right-hand post. Masip, remember, was a former Barcelona goalkeeper and knows from his days in training exactly how Messi takes his freekicks.
Minute 9: Kodro off the crossbar!
Kodro has really been lively. He gets his head on another cross into the box and diverts it onto Ter Stegen’s crossbar. Barcelona have had a couple of scares already.
Minute 5: A positive start from Real Valladolid
Clement Lenglet makes a decisive intervention. Real Valladolid attack and a cross comes in towards Kenan Kodro, but the French centre-back manages to divert the ball just as Kodro readies to launch a header.
Minute 1: Kick off!
We’re off and, as the two team sheets suggested, both sides will play with a back five. Or, to be honest, it could more likely be a back three when it comes to Barcelona and a back five when it comes to Real Valladolid. We’ve seen them sit deep against the Blaugrana before.
20:55 CEST: Messi gets another prize
It seems like Messi receives something ahead of every match at the Camp Nou. Ahead of this one, he has been given a commemorative shirt for breaking the club’s all-time appearances record, overtaking Xavi Hernandez.
20:50 CEST: It’s Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez in the middle tonight
Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez is the referee for this game. He is one of the most experienced referees in Spain and has whistled Barcelona three times already this season. That was the 2-1 league win over Real Sociedad and the Copa del Rey victories against Granada and Sevilla. He’s had one Real Valladolid game, their 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo.
20:40 CEST: Reasons for optimism for Barcelona
Barcelona come into this match in excellent form. They thrashed Real Sociedad 6-1 last time out, which was their fifth win in a row in LaLiga Santander and they’ve not lost any of their past 18 in the league. There really are reasons for optimism, especially after Atletico Madrid have been dropping points, as explained here.
20:25 CEST: It all began in Valladolid
This first match between these two sides this season was where it all began in terms of Barcelona‘s switch to a three centre-backs system. It worked well in their 3-0 win and Ronald Koeman returned to it later in the campaign. We take a look back on that first meeting with Real Valladolidhere.
20:10 CEST: A double team on Messi?
The Real Valladolid team is out and it looks like Sergio might be playing a back five, with two left-backs. Lucas Olaza and Nacho might double Lionel Messi, but the Argentine is more than capable of still finding a way through. The complete Real Valladolid line-up is as follows: Jordi Masip; Saidy Janko, Javi Sanchez, Bruno Gonzalez, Lucas Olaza, Nacho; Roque Mesa, Ruben Alcaraz; Oscar Plano, Kenan Kodro, Sergi Guardiola.
20:05 CEST: Messi and De Jong risk missing El Clasico
That metaphorical suspension tightrope is tonight occupied by Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong. They’re both one yellow card away from a suspension and the next match just happens to be El Clasico. Is Ronald Koeman taking an unnecessary risk here with these two key cogs for a home match against a heavily depleted Real Valladolid side?
19:50 CEST: No changes in the Barcelona line-up
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Ronald Koeman has a formula that has been working, with a 6-1 thumping of Real Sociedad last time out, so he names the same team again. It’s the fourth match in a row with the line-up of: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet; Sergino Dest, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Jordi Alba; Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann.
19:35 CEST: Real Valladolid are missing 12 players
It was never going to be easy for Real Valladolid to go to the Camp Nou and take points off Barcelona, but even more so in this game as they’re missing 12 players. Due to suspension, they’re without Fabian Orellana. Due to injury, they’re without Jawad El Yamiq, Fede San Emeterio, Kiko Olivas, Raul Garcia, Shon Weissman and Jota. And due to COVID-19, they’re without Michel Herrero, Luis Perez, Joaquin Fernandez, Roberto Jimenez and Kike Perez. That’s quite an absentee list for coach Sergio.
19:15 CEST: Barcelona’s last experience of Monday night football
This is actually Barcelona‘s second Monday night game in the space of three weeks. On March 15, they faced Huesca at home on a Monday night and super goals from Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann steered them towards a 4-1 victory. Before that, Barcelona hadn’t played on a Monday since a Supercopa de Espana game against Athletic Club in August of 2015 and hadn’t played a Monday LaLiga game since August of 2011. Now, they’ve had two in just a few weeks.
19:00 CEST: What time does this Monday night match kick off?
This clash between Barcelona and Real Valladolid will start at 21:00 CEST in Spain, which is 20:00 BST for fans watching on from the United Kingdom or 15:00 EDT for those on the east coast of the United States. Barcelona have made a handy graphic for fans in other time zones to check exactly when the ball will get rolling at the Camp Nou.