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  • 26 January 2024

Barcelona vs Villarreal: Can Barcelona Bounce Back This Weekend?

Following their elimination from the quarter-finals of Copa del Rey, Barcelona will seek to recuperate when they come up against Villarreal in La Liga this Saturday. Barcelona lost to Athletic Bilbao in the cup 4-2 and Villarreal is coming into this match by a draw of 1:1 with Mallorca.

Currently, Barcelona’s coach Xavi admits that his job is at risk if the team does not win any trophies this season. They faced a failure after their defeat from Athletic Bilbao in the recent Copa del Rey contest. At the end of regulation time, the match was 2-1 but Athletic scored twice during extra times and progressed.

However, Barcelona hasn’t enjoyed a good start to January in cup competitions as it lost the final of Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid. Nevertheless, they have been improving in La Liga with three wins on the bounce against Almeria, Las Palmas and Real Betis.

At this point, Barcelona is third in the La Liga table of standings eight points behind leaders Girona who have one game more. Although they have a recent league victory against Real Betis, the team has had two defeat leagues at home this year.

Barcelona is poised to grab their fourth straight victory in the La Liga against Villarreal on Saturday after first beating them 4-3 earlier this season. Furthermore, they are scheduled to take on Napoli in the Champions League’s last-16 round.

The past few years have been a good run for Villarreal in La Liga, finishing fifth last season and placing consistently within the top seven of the division over their previous four campaigns. But the 2023-24 season turned out to be a poor one for them.

The poor performances of Pacheta and Quique Setien resulted in the loss of managerial posts. Marcelino came back as head coach in November, but even he has stumbled.

Villarreal has won five games, drawn seven, and lost 11 of its twenty-one matches in the current season’s La Liga to collect a total of twenty points. This means they are 14 th on the table five points above relegation zone.

Team News: Barcelona vs Villarreal

Villarreal is currently on a four-game winless run, with three of those games being losses. Their last away game on January 13 lost to Las Palmas with a score of 0-3. In their last home game, they could only manage a 1-1 draw against Mallorca with Javier Llabres pulling one back for the visitors late in the match after Alexander Sorloth had handed Villarreal an early lead. In addition, Villarreal managed to record away wins only twice in the league this season.

For the visit to Villarreal, Barcelona will once again be without a number of important players. Injuries have kept Raphinha, Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Gavi and Marc-Andre ter Stegen out of the game. Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde are also to sit out of the game as a result of injuries that they picked up in their previous loss. On the negative side, Ronald Araujo is expected to be fit despite a knee injury.

Joao Cancelo, who has made a full recovery from his knee problem is on the verge of making an appearance. Those players that played the final match against Athletic Bilbao are supposed to maintain their positions. Lamine Yamal and Ferran Torres will help Robert Lewandowski in the attack.

Pepe Reina is suspended for Villareal, and an extensive array of injuries encompass Alfonso Pedraza, Ramon Terrats, Dani Parejo Raul Albiol Juan Foyth Yeremy Pino Denis Suarez. In the attack, Coach Marcelino could retain his previous lineup against Mallorca that featured Alexander Sorloth and Gerard Moreno. Alex Baena is likely to occupy a wide spot, with Santi Comesana and Francis Coquelin in the middle.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Pena; Roberto, Araujo, Kounde Cancelo Pedri F de Jong Gundogan Torres Lewandowski Yamal.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:

Jorgensen, Femenia, Bailly Cuenca A Moreno Akhomach Comesana Coqu elin Baena G Moren Sorloth

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