After discovering their road to the Champions League knockout stage will be an arduous one, Barcelona return to the pitch on Sunday hoping to further enhance their La Liga form as they host newly-promoted Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona were slotted into the clear “Group of Death” in the 2022/23 Champions League alongside Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. The Blaugrana, therefore, will look to improve form quickly before the group stage begins in early September.
The Catalan club were held to a scoreless draw in the season’s opening match before improving marginally in the subsequent 4-1 win over Real Sociedad. The first half against La Real served to further highlight Barcelona’s deficiencies, but the introduction of Ansu Fati early in the second-half proved vital to a turnaround. Barcelona deployed fringe players in a midweek charity friendly against Manchester City that ended in a 3-3 draw.
Meanwhile, Valladolid were blasted by Villarreal 3-0 in their first fixture back in the Spanish top-flight, but they managed a turnaround with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Sevilla in Matchweek 2. The club is owned by former Brazilian international Ronaldo, who purchased a 51 per cent stake in the club in 2018.
The Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.