Villarreal vs Barcelona
Barcelona will be aiming to keep their La Liga 2020 hopes alive when they visit in-form Villarreal on Sunday night, but they’ll meet a team full of confidence.
While the Blaugrana’s title bid has stuttered, five wins since the restart have launched Villarreal into the top six and that’s hardly the kind of opponent Barca needs right now.
There are reports of an unsettled atmosphere at the Camp Nou after three draws in four games for the champions have swung the La Liga 2020 betting odds firmly in Los Blancos’ favour.
Real Madrid have been relentless in the pursuit of the league title. Zinedine Zidane’s side beat Champions League chasing Getafe on Thursday and could have a seven point lead over Barca by the time this game in Castellon kicks off.
To put it simply, if the Blaugrana comes away from the Estadio de la Ceramica with fewer than three points then they can probably kiss the title goodbye.
Barca’s title slipping away
It may seem a little early to predict the title outcome but the signs are not good in Catalonia.
Lacklustre performances against Sevilla and Celta Vigo yielded just two points and then a home draw with Atletico Madrid put another dent in Barca’s title hopes.
Lionel Messi scored his 700th career goal but Barca were twice pegged back by Saul Niguez penalties and Messi seemed unhappy with some of the instructions coming from the bench.
Head coach Quique Setien is a man under serious pressure. He was a surprise appointment midway through the season and while Barcelona are unbeaten in seven games, draws are not enough.
The boss has had another blow with the news that midfield ace Frenkie de Jong is out injured and expected to miss out against Villarreal as he continues to suffer from a calf strain. He could be back for the derby against Espanyol, but by then it could all be too late.
Yellow Submarine rising to the surface
Five wins and a draw since early June have turned Villarreal’s season around. This time last year, the Yellow Submarine was struggling in 14th place with 36 points and they now sit in sixth place with 54 points.
Head coach Javier Calleja has his team playing with a swagger and they have a serious attacking threat.
Gerard Moreno is La Liga’s third top scorer with 15 goals along with four assists. And he’s banging in form, bagging a brace in Villarreal’s 2-0 victory at Real Betis last week.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla has eight goals and eight assists, and he came off the bench in the victory over Betis and could be due to make a start on Sunday.
And the Yellow Submarine can rely on a solid defensive unit which has kept clean sheets in all of the team’s five wins since the restart.
This is a tough test for Barca!
But the Catalans have had the better of their opponents for quite some time.
Of the 43 games played since 1998, Barca have won 25, drawn ten, and lost eight to Villarreal.
In fact, they are unbeaten in their last 23 matches against the Yellow Submarine, winning 17, including five of the last six games.
The exception came here in Castellon when this fixture threw up an avalanche of goals last year in a 4-4 draw as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored injury time goals to rescue the Blaugrana after Villarreal entered added time with a two-goal advantage.
Neutrals would love to see a repeat of that but Setien certainly wouldn’t.
He’d prefer to complete the double over their opponents having beaten them 2-1 at the Camp Nou back in September, when Arthur and Antoine Griezmann both struck inside the opening 15 minutes to put the Blaugrana in charge.
|Villarreal vs Barcelona||Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.02|
|July 6, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
You can get all the latest La Liga 2020 news and updates here at SBOBET this weekend.
Real Madrid head to Bilbao on Sunday afternoon to face Athletic Club and then we’ll be back on Sunday night with all the action from the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Barca are favourites to get the win they desperately need at odds of 1.74, while the draw is at 3.54 and hosts Villarreal are out at a tempting 4.17.
The double chance of Villarreal or draw is available at odds of 1.95 but Barcelona’s record against the Yellow Submarine will give them confidence.
Their opponents will be hard to break down having kept five clean sheets in the last six and I don’t think we’ll see a goal glut like this time last year.
A win by the odd goal in three is more likely.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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