Villarreal did not open the New Year in the best possible way losing the first leg of Copa del Rey last 16 round to Real Sociedad at Anoeta with 3-1. The Yellow Submarine will have one hell of a task to bounce back since they are hosting the reigning champions in the 17th round of the competition. The manager Fran Escriba will be hoping to see his team maintaining the fine form on home court and repeat the last Primera match at El Madrigal, when they demolished Atletico Madrid with 3-0. Trigueros, Soriano and dos Santos were on target for Villarreal in mid-December’s game.
Luis Enrique has had a rather turbulent season with Barcelona in 2016, but the Catalans definitely still have a lot to play for. Real Madrid are only three points clear at the top (with a game in hand), but Barca can’t afford to drop points anymore if they want to keep the drama in the competition. The deadly trio up front with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar is set to start the match which has to give Barca the role of favorites.
Villarreal vs Barcelona: Head-to-Head Stats
El Madrigal has not been an unconquerable fort for Blaugrana in the most recent matches. The Catalans claimed seven wins in last eight matches with Villarreal, but the last clash almost a year ago ended in a 2 -2 draw. Rakitic and Neymar pushed Barca in front in the first half, but the Yellow Submarine got back thanks to Bakambu and Mathieu (who scored an own goal).
Villarreal vs Barcelona: Prediction
Barcelona are 1/2 to claim three points. Knowing that the visitors can’t let real Madrid escape further at the top and knowing that Luis Enrique will have the full squad available, we can’t but pick the away win as the number one betting prediction. The braver punters can go with HT/FT win for Barcelona, set at 6/5 odds.
Villarreal vs Barcelona: Betting Tips
Away win 1/2 (1.50)
HT/FT Barcelona/Barcelona 6/5 (2.20).