If the first leg game between the sides is anything to go by, Barcelona should back themselves to win the game at Estadio El Madrigal, quite easily, having thrashed the Submarino Amarillo by a score-line of 5-0, in their season opener. That said, anything less than a win will be a further blow to Barca’s title bid.
Villarreal’s season has been mediocre, and the team that came fourth last season is currently on the periphery of the relegation zone. Their match against Pep Guardiola’s side is likely to revolve around the performance of Valero in the midfield. They will need to capitalise on every ounce of creativity shown by the talented playmaker, if the home side are to enjoy more than the 26 percent possession that they enjoyed in the first leg against Barca.
Barca have a relatively new star in Chilean striker Sanchez who has risen to expectations by scoring seven goals in 11 appearances for the side. He has also proved an effective ally to Messi around whose prolific scoring the champions have built their campaign this season. He gave Villarreal a taste of things to come, by scoring a brace in the first leg encounter.
Of their nine home games hosted this season, Villarreal have won and drawn 4 each while losing the remaining one. Barca’s away record has been identical, with Guardiola’s side winning and drawing four games each and losing one of their nine games on the road.
That said, the similarity ends when you consider just the last five home games hosted by Villarreal and the last five away matches played by Barcelona. In Villarreal’s case that amounts to three draws and a win and a loss, while in Barca’s instance, it translates into wins in their last four games on the road and a draw in the one before that. Villarreal’s last home game came on January 8 against Valencia, and that match ended in a 2-2 stalemate. Barca’s won their last away game against Atletico Madrid on January 15 by the dominant score-line of 4-0.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.