Preview: Barcelona vs Villarreal – prediction, team news, line-ups


Sports Mole preview Thursday’s La Liga clash between Barcelona and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing El Clasico loss at the weekend as they host Villarreal at Camp Nou on Thursday.

The hosts were beaten 3-1 by their arch-rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, while the visitors secured a well-deserved 2-0 win over Osasuna.

Match preview

© Reuters

Prior to Sunday’s loss, Barcelona were virtually unstoppable in La Liga, winning seven straight games 20-1 on aggregate, since a Matchday 1 stalemate with Rayo Vallecano.

Such an imperious domestic form helped set up a Clasico stand, with xavierThe men of are sitting at the top of the table, level on points with their formidable rivals as the 250th edition of this historic meeting approaches.

The first goal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, from the Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzemawas the first the Catalan side had conceded in 624 La Liga minutes, but it only took another 23 minutes for Los Blancos to add a second, in a first half that swept the game away.

Whereas Ferran Torres managed to pull one back in the second half, an unusually brutal attacking performance from Robert Lewandowski saw the Blaugrana team struggle, and ultimately fail, to save a point, as Rodrygo goes completed the victory with an additional time penalty.

After a frustrating 3-3 draw with Inter Milan in the Champions League, it is now essential that the hosts do not let their confidence slip away, with a selection of potential league matches falling on either side. of an all or nothing confrontation. with Bayern Munich.

Not just watching the barrel of an early European exit, any lack of focus in La Liga could see a ruthless Real Madrid walk away for good.

Villarreal boss Unai Emery on September 8, 2022© Reuters

The visitors, on the other hand, will be hoping to build on an encouraging 2-0 win over Osasuna on Monday night, as Arnaut Danjuma scored his first league goals of the season with a well-taken brace.

Unai EmeryThe men were experiencing a slight dip in form after a strong start to the season, with uninspiring defeats to top four rivals Real Betis and Real Sociedad, as well as lackluster draws with Cadiz and Getafe seeing the Yellow Submarine fall outside of Europe. tasks.

Nevertheless, having secured their passage to the last 16 of the UEFA Conference League, the Castellon club looked back on themselves with their victory at the weekend, with Alex Baena continue to impress in the absence of a talisman Gerard Moreno.

Villarreal actually recorded their first win against Barcelona in 27 attempts last season, with a 2-0 win over Xavi’s side at Camp Nou. The hosts have a lot more to play for this time around, however, and are expected to present a much tougher test.

Barcelona La Liga form:

Form of Barcelona (all competitions):

Form of Villarreal in La Liga:

Form of Villarreal (all competitions):

Team News

Barcelona manager Xavi pictured in September 2022© Reuters

Barcelona will continue without long-term absentees Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay and Andreas Christensenas Xavi faces some selection headaches after their Clasico display.

Ousmane Dembele and Eric Garcia seem to be those most at risk of losing their starting positions, with Ansu Fati and Gerard pricks waiting backstage.

For visitors, Alberto Moreno made an emotional return to action on Monday after a seven-month absence and will once again offer an option on the bench at Camp Nou. Gerard Moreno, Francois Coquelin and John Foython the other hand, all remain on the sidelines.

Unai Emery has so far been hesitant to use Jose Luis Morales in the league, despite six goals and three assists in European competition. Another spirited performance off the bench against Osasuna could see El Comandante included here, though.

Possible starting formation in Barcelona:
Ter Stegen; Alba, Pique, Koundé, Roberto; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; Fati, Lewandowski, Torres

Possible starting line-up for Villarreal:
Rulli; Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Femenia; Parejo, Capua, Lo Celso; Morales, Danjuma, Baena

SM words green background

We say: Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

Desperate to follow Real Madrid, dropped points are simply not an option for Barcelona in the weeks following their Clasico loss.

Villarreal will make it very awkward for the home side but their superior firepower should see them through to a narrow victory.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.


Our expert tipster partners at predict a home win in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Home Win:data

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