Competition/Round: 2022-23 La Liga, Matchday 36
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ronald Araujo, Pedri, Jules Kounde (out)
Valladolid Outs & Doubts: Martin Hongla (out), Jawad El Yamiq, Luis Pérez, Selim Amallah, Anuar (doubt)
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Estadio Municipal José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain
Referee: César Soto Grado
VAR: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
How to watch on TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), TSN 4 (Canada), Viaplay Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), Not Available (Spain), others
How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), DAZN (Spain), others
After suffering a home defeat against Real Sociedad and celebrating their championship victory in front of their home crowd at Camp Nou, Barcelona, the reigning champions of Spain, continue their end-of-season schedule. They embark on their second-to-last away game of the La Liga campaign as they prepare to face Real Valladolid at the José Zorrilla Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was anticipated that Barcelona would deliver a lackluster performance and suffer a loss against a determined and eager Sociedad team, considering the week-long celebrations. However, Barcelona must not fall into the trap of believing that the final three league games hold no significance.
Despite already being crowned champions and having celebrated extensively, they now need to demonstrate their love for competition and their determination to win every single game. A certain standard has been set and must be maintained. For many players, this presents a golden opportunity to prove themselves.
Xavi Hernández is expected to make significant changes to his usual lineup due to the short turnaround from the Sociedad match. With three starters already unavailable and potentially six others being rested, several fringe players will have the rare chance to start the game and make a compelling case for more playing time next season.
During the weekend, the manager fielded his strongest available team, and those players could be forgiven for not giving their all after enduring heavy minutes throughout a grueling season. However, the players expected to start on Tuesday do not have the luxury of apathy.
For many of them, this will serve as an audition, where they must not only showcase their talent but also exhibit a deep desire to win, even if the outcome of the game holds no significance in terms of points.
They must be fully alert and prepared to match the intensity of a Valladolid side currently fighting to avoid relegation. A victory against the champions would not only boost Valladolid's position in the table but also greatly enhance their chances of survival. Barcelona must be aware that they will face a team willing to give their all for the cause.
Even with a weakened squad, Barcelona possesses enough quality to secure a win. However, they cannot solely rely on talent to claim victory. They must be ready to battle and demonstrate a hunger equal to that of Valladolid, earning all three points.
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