Barcelona are back in action this weekend with another crucial La Liga fixture as they take on Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday. The Catalans have been excellent in recent weeks and hold the upper hand going into this game.
Villarreal have exceeded expectations under Unai Emery this season but have been fairly inconsistent in recent weeks. The Yellow Submarines suffered a shock defeat against Deportivo Alaves earlier this week and will want to bounce back in this fixture.
Barcelona, on the other hand, are currently embroiled in a battle for the league title with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla. The Blaugrana turned on the style to ease past Getafe in their previous game and will be confident ahead of this match.
Villarreal vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona have an exceptional record against Villarreal and have won 23 matches out of a total of 33 games played between the two teams. Villarreal have managed only three victories against Barcelona and will have to be at their best in this fixture.
The reverse fixture between the two teams took place in September last year and ended in an emphatic 4-0 victory for Barcelona. Villarreal struggled to cope with the Catalans' attacking prowess on the day and will need to do a better job on Sunday.
Villarreal form guide in La Liga: L-W-L-W-W
Barcelona form guide in La Liga: W-L-W-W-W
Also Read: Top 10 attacking trios in football history
Villarreal vs Barcelona Team News
With Vicente Iborra injured for this game, Manu Trigueros and Etienne Capoue will have to do much of the heavy lifting for Villarreal in the midfield. Pervis Estupinan is yet to recover from his niggle and might not feature in this match.
Injured: Vicente Iborra
Doubtful: Pervis Estupinan
Ousmane Dembele has made progress with his recovery but is unlikely to be risked in this fixture. Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho are currently sidelined with long-term injuries and will be excluded from the squad.
With Martin Braithwaite also injured, Barcelona will likely employ a 3-5-2 formation with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leading the line. Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet were taken off after the first half against Getafe and will keep their place in the side.
Injured: Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho
Doubtful: Ousmane Dembele, Neto
Villarreal vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Villarreal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sergio Asenjo; Alfonso Pedraza, Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, Juan Foyth; Etienne Capoue, Manu Trigueros, Dani Parejo; Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer, Samuel Chukwueze
Barcelona Predicted XI (3-5-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza; Sergino Dest, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi
Villarreal vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona have been impressive in La Liga this season but will have to work hard to edge Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to the league title. Lionel Messi has been in sensational form this year and will look to add to his impressive goal tally against the Yellow Submarines.
Villarreal's ambitious style of play has often played into Barcelona's hands in the past and the home side might adopt a more conservative approach to this fixture. Barcelona hold the upper hand at the moment and are the favourites to win this game.
Prediction: Villarreal 0-2 Barcelona