Barcelona have had just a few days to lick their wounds since losing against Real Madrid in Sunday’s Clasico and seeing their rivals go three points clear in La Liga.

It was a first loss of the domestic season for Xavi’s team and they will now be determined to secure a positive result against a Villarreal side that have had mixed results so far this season but actually have the meanest defence at this stage of the campaign after conceding only three times in nine games.

Barcelona: 28 Wins
Villarreal: 8 Wins
Draws: 10

Barcelona: WLWDL
Villarreal: DWLWW

Memphis Depay, Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen miss out for Barcelona in this one, while Hector Bellerin is also a doubt.

Barcelona Starting 11: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Kounde, Garcia, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Torres, Lewandowski, Dembele
Bench: Pena, Tenaus, Pique, Torre, Alonso, Balde, De Jong, Kessie, Fati, Raphinha

Juan Foyth, Gerard Moreno and Francis Coquelin will miss this one. Kiko Femenia and Giovani Lo Celso are potential doubts.

Villarreal Starting 11: Rulli; Mandi, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Baena, Morlanes; Danjuma, Jackson, Pino
Bench: Reina, Jorgensen, Cuenca, Mojica, Trigueros, Chukwueze, A. Moreno, Morales

Despite struggling in Europe and coming off second best against Real Madrid, Barcelona have shown this season they are more than capable of beating ‘the rest’ in La Liga.

Villarreal might cause them problems because of just how well they have defended this season, but the quality of Barcelona’s attacking players, having also had an extra day of rest since each last played, should just about give them the edge.

Prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal


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