Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona head into Tuesday night’s home game with Villarreal close to a crisis state. The game is another test of the champions frail confidence.
Barcelona (Odds of 1/ 4 for victory)
The reigning Spanish champions have made a poor start to their La Liga campaign, picking up a woeful seven points from their five league matches. Last time out the Catalan giants suffered a 2-0 defeat at Granada.
It was the second time Ernesto Valverde’s side have lost away from home in the Spanish top-flight. Two wins out of five at the beginning of the new La Liga campaign is not what fans will have hoped for this season. A goalless draw at Dortmund in their Champions League game of the campaign was not the worse result in the world.
The biggest problem Barcelona have had of late is their fragile defence, as they have conceded at least two goals in their last four games in La Liga. Lionel Messi returned to the starting line-up against Granada last time out, but the Argentinian failed to create his usual magic in a poor all-around poor team display.
Despite their struggles on the road, Barcelona are unbeaten in 14 home games in La Liga, having recorded 13 victories. The Catalan giants have also scored at least two goals in seven of their last home matches in the Spanish top-flight.
Villarreal (Odds of 9/1 for victory)
Villarreal have made a mixed start to their campaign. The Yellow Submarine are fourth place in the Spanish top-flight table, but just one point ahead of the seventh-place reigning champions.
The visitors head into this clash full of confidence, as they have recorded two straight wins while remaining unbeaten in three league games. Last time out, the visitors recorded a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid.
A 3-0 victory over Leganes in their last away game in La Liga, ended a three-game winless run on their travels in the Spanish top-flight. the game followed a familiar pattern for the visitors away games, in the fact that it was their fourth straight away game in La Liga to produce over 2.5 goals.
One major concern for Villarreal is that they have failed to beat Barcelona in 22 games in all competitions. The Yellow Submarine’s last victory over the Catalan giants was way back in 2008. Javi Calleja’s team may feel as if they have a good chance to end that long winless run on Tuesday night.
Barcelona cannot afford anything but a victory in this clash. Luckily for the champions, they are only three points off the top of the Spanish table. The Catalan giants need to start putting together a good run of form to return to the top of La Liga.
Villarreal have not been great this season. However, their recent form in the Spanish top-flight has been decent. Unfortunately, for the visitors, it has been business as usual for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou.
We cannot see past a home win, which you can back at odds of 1/ 4. The recent history of these two teams suggests this could be a high scoring clash. There seems little value in that market, although the over 4.5 goals at odds of 7/4 may be a decent punt.
Verdict: Back the home win at 1/ 4 (boring bet we know) and/or over 4.5 goals at odds of 7/4 (All odds from Bet365).
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Will Barcelona record a routine victory on Tuesday night?