Villarreal vs FC Barcelona: La Liga Preview and Prediction
Will Barcelona defeat Villarreal to keep La Liga title race interesting or will Villarreal pull off an upset to provide new league champions in Spain?
Well, we don’t know but the recent form of Barcelona hasn’t been up to the level as Real Madrid are running away from them to win La Liga title after two years.
The Blaugrana have drawn three out of their last four league games while Los Blancos have managed to win all six matches since the league resumed. They occupy top spot, four points ahead of Barca
Villarreal, on the other hand, has been consistent as they have won five out of their last six La Liga matches and managed to keep a clean-sheet in all five. Barcelona, however, are undefeated in the last 23 encounters against the Yellow Submarine in all competitions.
Real Madrid are playing against Athletic Club away from home. So, if Los Blancos lose this fixture and Barcelona defeat Villarreal, then the Blaugrana will be just one point below the league leaders.
Ramiro Guerra, Ramiro Funes Mori, and Sofian Chakla will miss this fixture due to injuries.
From Barcelona, on the other hand, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, and Frenkie de Jong are injured and will miss this one.
Gerard Moreno vs Gerard Pique
Gerard Moreno has been phenomenal for Villarreal this season. He is one of the reasons why the Yellow Submarine are still in the race for the Champions League spot. The Spaniard has scored 15 goals and provided four assists in his 31 league appearances this season.
Gerard Pique, on the other hand, hasn’t been consistent and failed to lead the defence of Barcelona. The Blaugrana have conceded most goals (35) among the top-four in the league currently. Pique averages one interception and 4.1 clearances in 31 matches.
Moreno with the help of Santi Cazorla can score a goal in this match as Barcelona are vulnerable in the defense.
Pau Torres vs Lionel Messi
This battle between the players is going to be one-sided, until Villarreal comes up with something special to stop the leading goalscorer of La Liga, Lionel Messi.
Pau Torres has made 1.1 interceptions per game and 4.5 clearances in his 29 league appearances this season while Messi has scored 22 goals and provided 17 assists in the ongoing season.
The Barcelona leader will try his best to score a goal and help his side in staying alive in the league race. Torres will try his best to stop Leo, but the winger is currently desperate to win because this is the time his side needs him to step up and lead from the front. Hence, Messi will either find the back of the net or will provide assist in this fixture.
Barcelona have a solid squad but the team is not coming together to help each other. Also, the defense has to be solid to help Barcelona in clinching three crucial points.
Villarreal has performed brilliantly till now and they have to perform in the same manner to keep their Champions League chances open.
So, keeping everything in mind, If Barcelona doesn’t make any mistakes at the back, then they will score a couple of goals and concede just one to clinch all three points in this fixture as their La Liga trophy is on line.
Predicted scoreline: Villarreal 1 - 2 FC Barcelona