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Since the draw for the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League, in Nyon, Switzerland lastThursday, the stage has been set for a lot of drama both on and off the pitch. One significantheadline coming out of the Champions League knockout round is, Barcelona's unwillingnessto send striker David Villa on loan to any of the English teams that are interested in his services.The Spanish international record-setting goal scorer David Villa has been highly coveted by afew teams in the English Premier League (EPL) due to limited playing time for Barcelona.
Among the EPL sides interested in Villa's services are Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, andTottenham Hot Spurs. It has been a tough go for Villa to get playing time due to theoutstanding play of Lionel Messi (the FIFA Ballon d' Or winner) during his record goal-scoringseason; as well as, strikers like Cristan Tello who have been providing Barcelona with solid playdespite limited minutes. (It is worth noting that David Villa did come on as a substitute duringlast weekend's 4-0 victory over Espanyol).
“It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind” - Xavi Hernandez on Messi
As someone who has only ever been conscious of football from 1998 (born 1994) upwards it is hard for me to pick a hero from before my time, however it does leave me with a plethora of talent to choose from in the 21st century. In my lifetime players like Romario, Zidane and Ronaldo have all come and gone. They all left with a gasp and a respect as they sailed to the heights of the game; leaving behind them a legacy of which other players can pick up and run with. The game has changed since I have been watching it. From direct counter attacking play to the slow build up possession style that is en vogue in today's world; I have seen it all in my short existence.
The curtain been rolled down. La Liga, the spanish biggest football show is now undergoing a winter break. Before the season started many pundits stated that this season will be another two-horses race between, Barcelona and Real Madrid. They also predict that this year will show no surprise. Real Madrid and Barcelona leaving the other teams behind and make the La Liga title race, theirs. But is that true? Is that what really happens in La Liga this season? Now I will try to review the La Liga in 2012/2013.
La Liga is top of the UEFA Coeffcient and Spain are the current World and European Champions. Yet La Liga seems to be going through a stage of transition in terms of strength and depth. European giants and so-called 'best team in the world' Barcelona are leading the division by an almost unassailable amount - and being Barcelona, you have to say it is impossible to catch.
Nine points clear of nearest rivals Athletico Madrid and surprisingly 16 points clear of defending champions Real Madrid, the La Liga crown appears to be going to the Nou Camp. But what are the reasons behind the sudden drop of Madrid and the ability of Barcelona to keep improving despite the loss of already legendary manager Pep Guardiola, the aging of Xavi and Puyol, the illness of current manager Tito Vilanova and limited summer spending.
Barcelona have won 16 of their 17 games in the league drawing the other to give them 49 points from a possible 52. They also have a goal difference which is already fourteen goals better off than any of their rivals.
Real Valladolid vs Barcelona Preview And Where To Watch Online: Tito Will Do Everything To Keep The Gap
Real Valldolid will host Barcelona at Estadio Jose Zorrilla this Sunday. Obviously, after the goaless draw against Super Depor, Real Valladolid is itching to bounce back with a win, but unfortunately, the fixture is not helping. Their next match is against the powerhouse, Barcelona. Will Valladolid able to grab another 1 point or even 3 points? Or become a prey to the most ferocious predator in La Liga.
Valladolid recent form has been unimpressive. With 2 loses-2 wins-and 1 draw, peole will actually call a big win for Barcelona. Because, compared to Barcelona last 5 matches, they wrap 4 wins and 1 draw in the bag, its pretty safe to say that Barcelona will win. But, let’s look at Valladollid recent form once again, on December 8th, they force Real Madrid, who is at the same level with Barcelona, struggle so hard to earn the 3 points. So, there’s still a possibility that Valladolid will surprise Barcelona the way they did to Real Madrid. Playing on their own home should give another additional advantage to Real Valladolid.
Key players to watch & probable line-up