Preview - Barcelona vs Villarreal 03 December 18

Started by Harry85, Dec 01, 2018, 07:45 PM

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Match Day 14
Barcelona vs. Villarreal
Monday, December 3rd 2018
01:30am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Camp Nou

Last five matches form: W W W L D
Average goals per match: 2.69
Average goals against per match: 1.23
Top Scorer: Luis Suárez & Lionel Messi (9)

Last five matches form:  D L D D W
Average goals per match: 1.00
Average goals against per match: 1.08
Top Scorer: Gerard Moreno (3)

Barcelona have been far from the dominant force they were in La Liga last season so far, and having been away from the top of the table as often as they have been at the summit this season. Currently one point adrift of Sevilla, they will be looking to keep up the pressure on the leaders with a win in this one at home to Villarreal.

Barcelona did the double over Villarreal last season, running away with this game 5-1 and coming out on top 2-0 in the reverse fixture.

Thomas Vermaelen, Luis Suárez, Sergi Samper, Rafinha, Jasper Cillesen and Sergi Roberto are all on the side-lines for Barcelona. Things aren't so bad for Villarreal with Bruno Soriano being their sole absentee.

Having been unbeaten in 37 La Liga games at Camp Nou, Barcelona surprisingly came unstuck in their most recent game here when losing 4-3 to Real Betis. They have bounced back in reasonable style though with a draw away at Atlético Madrid and a win at PSV in the Champions League.

Villareal have been very up and down this season, but can be a resolute side when in the mood, and have already picked up a point with a goalless draw at Sevilla.

This likely won't be a walk in the park for Barcelona, especially with the absence of Suárez. We fancy they will still just about have enough to pick up the points though.

Prediction: Barcelona 2 - 1 Villarreal


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 0
Shots:  16 - 4
Shots on target: 9 - 2
Corner Kicks: 11 - 1
Possession: 57% - 43%

Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba were booked for the home side in this one, with referee Jose Luis, Munuera Montero also taking the names of Victor Ruiz, Alvaro Gonzalez, Pablo Fornals and Alfonso Pedraza of Villarreal.

The home side very nearly fell behind in the 13th minute. Gerard Moreno doing really well to hold off his marker in the area, using his strength to turn and fire on goal from around six yards but seeing his effort crash back off the foot of the post. Let-off for Barcelona.

Having struggled to create much from open play, it was set piece which brought Barcelona the lead in the 35th minute. Ousmane Dembele getting a cross in following a corner at the second attempt to pick out Gerard Pique on the edge of the six-yard box. Keeper Sergio Asenjo got plenty on his effort but couldn't keep the ball from finding the back of the net. 1-0 at the interval.

The game continued to be pretty tight in the second half, with little of note in terms of clear cut chances until Barcelona finally put the game to bed in the 87th minute. Lionel Messi picking the ball up just inside the Villarreal half and expertly picking out the run of Carles Alena to play the youngster clean through. Messi-esque finish from Alena to dink the ball over the outrushing keeper from the edge of the area.

With Sevilla being held to a draw at Deportivo Alaves, this win was enough to see Barcelona move back to the top of the La Liga table, albeit by just the single point. Villarreal slip down to seventeenth, just three points clear of the relegation zone.

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