LNTUP

FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF Match Preview

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FC Barcelona returns to La Liga action tomorrow evening under pressure to pick up a win as they host a high-flying Villarreal CF on Saturday. With three games to go, Villarreal CF appears to be the final hurdle in FC Barcelona’s path to retain the league title.

FC Barcelona will be hoping to record their fourth consecutive win in the La Liga when they lock horns with Villarreal at Camp Nou. A win on Saturday will ensure that they will sit on the top of table, whatever be the outcome of Real Madrid’s match.

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FC Barcelona are sitting on the top of the table with 81 points from 35 matches – thus leading Real Madrid only on head to head advantage. Real are chasing their first La Liga title since 2012 and they are on the driver’s seat as they are tied with FC Barcelona on the points table with a game in hand too.

Real Madrid will have the chance to make amendments later on Saturday when they travel to Los Cármenes to face Tony Adams’ already relegated Granada side. As the Real Madrid goal scoring spree stretches on FC Barcelona find themselves in real danger of losing the La Liga.

While FC Barcelona are playing for the title, Villarreal CF are playing for a top four finish. A top four finish will ensure them a direct entry into the Champions League. Villarreal are on the 5th position in La Liga with 63 points from 35 games – 5 points behind 4th placed Sevilla, who are the favorites to finish on the fourth position.

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Barcelona needs to pray for a slip in Real Madrid’s performance so that they can capitalise on that and take the La Liga title home. It will be catastrophe if Real Madrid and FC Barcelona lose on the same time.

FC Barcelona thumped Espanyol by 3-0, thanks to a delightful second half performance from the entire Barcelona squad. Luis Suarez who was having a long 5 games goal drought, ended his drought against Espanyol by bagging a brace in the Catalan Derby.

Barcelona were struggling to cope with Espanyol’s physical defensive play as they failed to register a shot on target in the first period of game but an error from Jose Manuel Jurado let Suarez in, and he did all the talking with an easy finish. The momentum quickly shifted towards the Blaugranas and they capitalised on that to pump in 2 more goals to end the game at 3-0. Barcelona’s defence was pretty solid against Espanyol and they will hope to keep up that performance against Villarreal too – so that they can keep the high-flying Bakambu in check.

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Villarreal CF are high on confidence with three back to back victories in La Liga, which includes a 1-0 hammering of Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderon too. They have been pretty solid at the back – conceding only 28 goals this season, which is the second least no. of goals conceded by any team in this season’s La Liga ( ATM have conceded 25 ). But they are going to face an opposition who have scored 104 goals in this La Liga ( highest ), 52 more than them.

Team News

FC Barcelona:

The Blaugranas will be without long-term absentees Aleix Vidal, Rafinha and Mathieu. Iniesta missed the Catalan Derby and he is a doubt for this match too

Villarreal CF:

Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and winger Denis Cheryshev are out. Defender Victor Ruiz’s absence remains a mystery.

La Liga titles are often won and lost at venues such as Camp Nou; so will FC Barcelona be able to show their championship pedigree and secure three vital points?

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017 // Sunday, May 7, 2017 ( in CHINA, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA )Time: 16:30 ( G.M.T. ) // 17:30 ( B.S.T. ) // 12:30 ( E.T. ) // 22:00 ( I.S.T. )
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
TV Details: beIN Sports ( Canada, United States, France, Australia, Indonesia ) // FOX ( Brazil ) // Sky Sports 5 ( United Kingdom ) // beIN La Liga ( Barcelona ) // Digiturk ( Turkey ) // PPTV ( China ) // Sportsnavi ( Japan ) // Ten 1 ( India )
Live Stream: Sky Go ( U.K. ), beIN Sports CONNECT ( U.S. ), Mobdro App, Sony LIV app, JIO TV app

LIKELY LINE-UPS

VILLARREAL CF: Andres Fernandez; Gaspar, D. Bonera, A. Gonzalez, Angel; Roberto Soriano, Bruno, Trigueros, Dos Santos; Bakambu, Solado

FC BARCELONA: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Andre Gomes, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Neymar