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Valladolid v Barcelona

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Vilanova: Undergoing cancer treatment

Vilanova: Undergoing cancer treatment

Real Valladolid can expect a stern test on Saturday evening when Barcelona make the trip to Estadio Jose Zorrilla without boss Tito Vilanova at the helm.

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Vilanova underwent a second throat operation this week to remove a cancerous growth, leaving his assistant, Jordi Raura, in charge for the foreseeable future.

Valladolid coach Carlos Suarez will be hoping his side make full use of their home advantage. Suarez's men have the ability to get results against the bigger teams in the division, having claimed a 2-1 victory at Sevilla at the start of the month.

They came close to getting a result at home to Real Madrid a week later, but the visitors rallied from a goal down to record a 3-2 victory.

On the team news front, Suarez will have to make do without the services of attacking midfielder Patrick Ebert and defender Jesus Rueda.

Ebert has been a key player for Pucela this term and his absence could seriously hamper their hopes of clinching a positive result.

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas misses out again with a thigh injury, along with Isaac Cuenca and Marc Muniesa.

Full-back Eric Abidal returned to training this week following a liver transplant, but this match comes too soon for the Frenchman.

Posted: 21/12/12 17:10

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