MATCH PREVIEW – Rayo Vallecano vs FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Both teams are desperate for points but for different reasons. Rayo find themselves second from bottom before kick-off, and three points could help them to move up at least a couple of places. Barça meanwhile, can cement their position as leaders with their sixth successive win at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas.
Goals galore against Rayo Vallecano | FC Barcelona
Barça are at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday at 8.45pm, and it’s a fixture in which the Catalans have developed a knack of scoring lots and lots of goals. There’s been a 9-0 (1979), a 7-1 (1989) and a 6-0 (1997), and even without home advantage Barça have racked up some big wins, including a 7-0 victory at Vallecas in 2012.
Ernesto Valverde: Rayo need points and that makes them dangerous | FC Barcelona
“We are up against a good team. Rayo are an attacking outfit and they have skilful players in midfield and up front. Most of the games they have played so far have been tight,” explained Ernesto Valverde in his pre-game press conference ahead of Saturday’s 8.45pm CET kick off in Vallecas. “We have to be careful because they are play good football, they need points and it will be tough.”
Barcelona have finally found their Xavi heir in Arthur the Artist | Goal
When Arthur steps out on the field, it is easy to forget that less than two years ago the young midfield maestro was just another hopeful in the Gremio youth set-up, with a single Brasileirao appearance to his name.
Il Corriere dello Sport: Barça’s Malcom offers himself to Roma | Sport
The chances of Malcom leaving Barça at the moment are remote. Both the player and his agent have declared that he wants to stay at Camp Nou and succeed. And even though Ernesto Valverde doesn’t seem to count on him, the club are not considering a sale -- although a loan’s not been ruled out.
Valverde: Barça’s academy deserves more... but the competition is tough | Sport
The Copa del Rey allowed some players, like Carles Aleña, to make their first team debuts this season. There wa salso a start for Sergi Samper, who got injured, as well as three Barça B defenders. Academy graduates seem obliged to have to wait until the cup to get a chance. Even Ernesto Valverde feels they deserve more.
Barcelona to check in on Inter and Piatek at San Siro on Saturday | Sport
Barcelona don’t want to miss the chance to follow the evolution of Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek. They will take advantage of having scouts at Inter’s game this weekend (they play the Italians in the Champions League) to watch the Polish striker at the San Siro.