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La Liga preview and odds: Barcelona vs. Villarreal

Published on: 06/11/2015

La Liga preview and odds: Barcelona vs. Villarreal

November 08, 2015 15:00pm - Camp Nou

La Liga

With just four points separating them, two of the top title contenders will go head-to-head at the Camp Nou on Sunday as Barcelona take on Villarreal in La Liga.

Barcelona coping without Messi

As well as having to cope without arguably the best player in the world, Barcelona have also been hampered by injuries to other key players including Rafinha, Adriano, Thomas Vermaelen and Andres Iniesta. Despite these issues, Luis Enrique’s team have won four of their last five games in the league, with the defeat to Sevilla being the only low point.

As a result, they have maintained pace with their equally injury-ravaged rivals from Madrid, who are leading the table thanks to their superior goal record.

Since Messi entered the treatment room, Neymar and Luis Suárez have taken up the slack in style with some world class performances. In their last game they came away from Coliseum Alfonso Perez with all three points after disposing of Getafe by two goals to nil.

Villarreal out to prove credentials

After leading the league in the early weeks of the campaign, Villarreal have slipped to fifth place in the table. A run of three games without a win was halted last week when they beat Europa League champions Sevilla 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Mario Gaspar and striker Cédric Bakambu.

Marcelino`s men will be out to prove that their early season form was not a fluke by pushing Barcelona all the way on Sunday. A win would put them just a point behind the Blaugrana and would send a clear message of intent to their potential title rivals.

Team news

Javier Mascherano will be missing through suspension along with the injured trio of Lionel Messi, Rafinha and Douglas.

Villarreal have Tomas Pina and Eric Bailly on the suspended list, while Adrian, Sergio Asenjo, Mateo Musacchio and Leo Baptistao are all injured.

Recent form (League)

Barcelona: WWWLW

Villarreal: WDLLW

Betting odds and tips

Villarreal have been brilliant at times this season but the defeat to Levante knocked their confidence and they have only just recovered. Barcelona have not been beaten at home in the league since Febraury and it will take a special performance from the visitors to end that run.

However, Barcelona have shown vulnerability at times this season and they no longer have the Messi trump card up their sleeve. A draw is not out of the question and brave punters may be tempted by the 49/10 on offer from Marathon bet.

A total of 80% of matches at the Camp Nou have ended with Over 2.5 goals this season and Boylesport will give you 11/20 on this outcome.

Published on: 06/11/2015

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (06/11/2015 17:56:52) but are subject to change.