In roughly three weeks time, FC Barcelona will face Real Madrid in this season's inaugural El Clasico, and assuming that Barcelona can at least match Real Madrid's results from now until then, Barca could enter the match with a chance to extend their lead over Los Blancos to eight points. However, if Barcelona drop points, they will not only likely relinquish part of their lead over Carlo Ancelotti's side, but they may even lose their grip on La Liga -- with their somewhat surprise but well-deserved 1-0 derby win last weekend, Atletico Madrid maintained their 100% domestic record.
So the pressure is on FC Barcelona to brush Real Valladolid aside tonight, ensuring that they retain control of La Liga, just as they have done for the past 412 days. Even without Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana are expected to coast to victory, with Brazilian forward Neymar tipped to add to his La Liga goals tally. The €57 million signing from Santos has been desperately unlucky in front of goal -- and could have easily walked away from Tuesday's game against Celtic with a brace, if not for the heroics of Fraser Forster.
The speed and ease with which Neymar has settled into this Barcelona team is staggering -- all that's left is for the Brazilian to start scoring some more goals; maybe starting as the false nine would speed up that process.
Predict the score of tonight's match between FC Barcelona and Real Valladolid in the comments section below to be in with a chance of winning a brand-new 2014-15 Barcelona jersey at the season's end. At the moment, we have three community members tied on two correct predictions (Papant7, Tokjee and Som-i-Serem) meaning that this year's competition is still entirely up for grabs. Best of luck!
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- La Liga: FC Barcelona vs Real Valladolid: Match Preview
- FC Barcelona News: 4 October 2013; 18 in Squad to Face Real Valladolid, Seven Called Up by Vicente Del Bosque
- FC Barcelona News: 3 October 2013; Barça Players Return from Scotland, Victor Valdes Becomes Father for Third Time
- Champions League: Marc Bartra Wows Barcelona Fans, But is He Enough?
- From the Mind of Xoel: Neymar Proves He Is Barça's Plan B