Villarreal vs Barcelona Match Analysis & Prediction
12/02/2023 11:00 pm
Barcelona will be looking to make it six La Liga wins on the bounce and open up an 11-point lead at the top of the table when they travel to face Villarreal on Sunday night.
While the hosts are sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in the battle for a Champions League spot, the Catalan giants are currently in pole position to reclaim the title.
Villarreal won four of their five league matches between November 9 and January 22 to leave themselves in a strong position in the table, but they have now lost their last two against Rayo Vallecano and Elche, becoming the first team to be beaten by the latter in La Liga this season.
The 3-1 defeat at Elche was certainly a shock and a real setback for the Yellow Submarine, but they will now have the chance to bounce back against the best team in La Liga, according to the league table at least.
Quique Setien’s side have largely been strong at home this season, picking up 19 points from nine games, which is the fourth-best record in the division, but they will host a Barcelona side with the best away record, having picked up 27 points from 10 matches on the road.
Villarreal have lost six of their last seven league matches against Barcelona, but they did famously win 2-0 at Camp Nou last season.
Xavi won his first trophy as Barcelona manager last month, beating Real Madrid to win the Spanish Super Cup, while the Catalan giants are chasing success in the Copa del Rey and Europa League.
Barca will face Real Madrid in a two-legged semi-final in the Spanish Cup, while they will take on Manchester United over two legs in a Europa League knockout round playoff, with the first meeting set to take place at Camp Nou next week.
However, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that the club’s main focus this season is La Liga, and they are currently in a commanding position, sitting top of the table on 53 points, eight points clear of second-placed Real Madrid on the same number of matches.
With Real Madrid currently in Morocco competing in the Club World Cup, Barcelona will have the chance to move 11 points clear at the top on Sunday, and they have won each of their last five in La Liga and their last 10 matches across all competitions during an impressive run.
Last time out, Barca claimed a 3-0 victory over Sevilla at Camp Nou, with Jordi Alba, Gavi and Raphinha all getting on the scoresheet in the second half of the game.
Villarreal vs. Barcelona Head to head
In the 49 previous meetings between these two teams across all competitions, Villarreal have claimed nine victories while Barcelona have won 30, and they have drawn in 10. Barcelona have scored 104 goals and conceded 58 in the process.
Villarreal Team News
Villarreal were without Filip Jorgensen, Giovani Lo Celso, Nicolas Jackson and Alfonso Pedraza against Elche last weekend through injury and that is again expected to be the case here.
The hosts have no fresh fitness issues, and there is likely to be a return in the middle of the defence for Pau Torres, who was not involved against Elche.
Villarreal's Last 5 Matches
13/01/2023Celta Vigo1Villrreal1La Liga
19/01/2023Villarreal2Real Madrid3Copa del Rey
30/01/2023Villarreal0Rayo Vallecano1La Liga
Barcelona Team News
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele is out until the middle of March with a hamstring issue, while Sergio Busquets is also facing a spell on the sidelines with the ankle issue that he sustained against Sevilla.
Ronald Araujo should again be joined in the middle of the defence by Andreas Christensen, with Alba potentially keeping out Alejandro Balde at left-back, with Lewandowski leading the line again.
Barcelona's Last 5 Matches
25/01/2023Barcelona1Real Sociedad0Copa del Rey
01/02/2023Real Betis1Barcelona2La Liga
Villarreal vs. Barcelona: Odds and Predictions
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