Spanish La Liga Preview: Villarreal Vs Barcelona

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lorenzo bernardi

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Football (soccer) News
  • Spanish La Liga Preview: Villarreal Vs Barcelona

Spanish La Liga Preview: Villarreal Vs Barcelona

Spanish La Liga is the only league in Europe where the top four and next season’s Champions League contenders are already clear from rest of the group. As Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to dominate, Valencia and Villarreal have maintained a steady run in the league. At this moment, there is a difference of 11 points between the fourth place Villarreal and Espanyol, which will not be easy to cover in the remaining nine rounds. Apart from this, Real Madrid is already 19 points clear from the third place and a change in positions is highly unlikely.

Therefore, the significance of this match for Villarreal is not as much as it could have sounded in the first half of the season. However, it can only hurt Barcelona in terms of Spanish La Liga title. The Catalans are only five points clear of Real Madrid which is not a big gap because of the fact that both teams still have to face each other once in the league. Therefore, Barcelona needs a victory in order to keep pressure on Real Madrid and to remain in the driving seat until the second clash in El Clasico.

Villarreal and Barcelona have already met in the league once this season at Camp Nou. David Villa found the opener for the Catalan giants, but it was soon equalised by Nilmar. The scores remained levelled in the first half, despite domination by the Catalans. In the second half, however, Lionel Messi came up with two goals and awarded his team the victory. Nevertheless, Villarreal showed a lot of strength while defending against Barcelona in the match.

In the recent weeks in La Liga, Barcelona has not been able to show their true form. They have been finding it hard to win the matches and they already have drawn one against Valencia. Apart from this, Barcelona lost the first leg against Arsenal which shows the vulnerable side of the giants. The reason is that the other teams are no longer being intimidated by the Catalan giants and they maintain a defensive posture in their matches, without giving any real space to attack.

This is a great sign for Real Madrid who really needs some kind of a morale booster this season. With the weaknesses of Barcelona being exposed they can really hope to win their important El Clasico clash at the end of this month. In the first leg, Barcelona won by 5-0, which really shattered Madrid’s hopes, but the hopes are being revived once again. Therefore, Barcelona needs a victory to regain their confidence and re-establish their superiority in Spain. A crushing victory would definitely send a positive signal to Madrid, who is also looking forward to a Copa del Ray final against its archrivals.

The ingredients are there for Barcelona to hand down a crushing victory. Pedro Rodriguez is back into the squad after missing a couple of matches due to an injury. Lionel Messi was feared to have picked up an injury on international duty but he has been declared fit for the match as well. The only problem was that David Villa was not looking particularly good in his last few matches. But, he scored a brace against Czech Republic which took him past the Spanish record set by Raul. Therefore, he is back in his best form and will be a key player for his team.

The problems, however, are there for Barcelona who will be missing some key players. Eric Abidal has had an operation and is still recuperating from it. Carlos Puyol is still not fit and it will be some time before he comes back into the side. Apart from this, Xavi will miss the match because of suspension. Nevertheless, it will be a great match between the two sides and Villarreal will have to do exceptionally well in order to save a point from the tie.

 

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