Barcelona vs. Villarreal La Liga: preview, prediction, team news, lineups

Barcelona will aim to recover from their recent Copa del Rey elimination when they face Villarreal in a La Liga clash on Saturday evening.

Match Preview:

Following their 4-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the cup quarter-finals, Barcelona boss Xavi must deliver silverware this season to secure his job. They are now solely focused on the league after the disappointment at San Mames.

The match against Athletic ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, leading to extra time where Athletic scored twice to advance in the competition.

Although Barcelona had a tough January in cup competitions, losing 4-1 to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final, they have won their last three league matches against Almeria, Las Palmas, and Real Betis.

Currently sitting third in the La Liga table, Barcelona is eight points behind leaders Girona, who have played an additional game.

They recently won 4-2 against Real Betis in the league, but both of their league losses this season occurred at home in Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

In their previous encounter this season, Barcelona secured a thrilling 4-3 victory over Villarreal. They will be aiming for their fourth consecutive La Liga win against Villarreal this Saturday.

Villarreal had a disappointing season so far, currently placed 14th in the league. After finishing fifth last term, they have struggled under different head coaches and have only managed five wins in their 21 league matches.

Their recent form has been poor, with four winless games, including a 3-0 loss to Las Palmas and a 1-1 draw against Mallorca. Villarreal has only won twice away from home in the league this season.

Team News:

Barcelona will be without Raphinha, Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Gavi, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen due to injury.

Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde will also miss out. However, Ronald Araujo should be available despite a knee injury.

For Villarreal, Pepe Reina is suspended, while Alfonso Pedraza, Ramon Terrats, Dani Parejo, Raul Albiol, Juan Foyth, Yeremy Pino, and Denis Suarez are injured.

Head coach Marcelino is likely to field the same XI as their previous match against Mallorca.

Possible Starting Lineups:

Barcelona: (4-3-3)


Roberto, Araujo, Kounde, Cancelo;

Pedri, F de Jong, Gundogan;

Torres, Lewandowski, Yamal

Villarreal: (4-4-2)


Femenia, Bailly, Cuenca, A Moreno;

Akhomach, Comesana, Coquelin, Baena;

G Moreno, Sorloth

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal

In what could be a challenging game for Barcelona, both teams will be missing key players. However, we expect the reigning La Liga champions to showcase their quality and secure a 3-1 victory over Villarreal.

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