The Ronald Koeman era kicks off on Sunday night as Barcelona host Villarreal at Camp Nou. Barcelona are going through a tumultuous time. Following the Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich in embarrassing fashion, 8-2, the club sacked Quique Setien. Despite Koeman’s arrival, the problems still exist at Barcelona.
They will begin their campaign against Villarreal in what is a difficult fixture on paper. Unai Emery arrived in the offseason, taking over for Javier Calleja. Villarreal have collected four points from six possible after two matchdays. After 1-1 opening day draw against newly-promoted Huesca, Villarreal claimed a matchday 2 victory against Eibar, 2-1.
Villarreal have started well and are just two points off of the top two clubs in La Liga after Matchday 2, Granada and Real Betis. Based on the early season table, it is possible that La Liga could finish in a very unusual style.
Villarreal have not defeated Barcelona in over a decade. The 2007-08 season was the last time that the Yellow Submarine managed a victory against Barcelona. That win came at Camp Nou. Can Emery’s team win against Barcelona at Camp Nou and push toward the top of the table?
Barcelona vs Villarreal Betting Odds
Villarreal are coming off of a 2-1 win at home against Eibar. It didn’t go as smoothly as the scoreline suggested. Villarreal conceded a 50th-minute goal but came back with two strikes in the final 27 minutes of the game. Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer both found the back of the net.
The Yellow Submarine dominated much of the fixture posting 58% possession and tallying 14 shots with eight landing on target. They did concede 12 shots to Eibar. Emery’s team must player tighter in defence to prevent Barcelona from having so many shots at goal.
Barcelona won both matches against Villarreal last season. The Blaugrana won 2-1 at Camp Nou with all three goals coming in the first half. Antoine Griezmann and the recently departed Arthur scored in the opening 15 minutes. Villarreal scored through Santi Cazorla in the 44th minute but that was as close as they got.
The reverse fixture ended 4-1 in favour of Barcelona. Pau Torres’ own goal was cancelled out by Moreno. Luis Suarez and Griezmann followed on to give Barcelona a 3-1 lead at halftime. Ansu Fati added a fourth goal with four minutes left on the clock.
Villarreal have obtained three draws over the course of the last 10 matches against Barcelona in La Liga. However, they have not won against the Blaugrana in over 10 years.
Barcelona vs Villarreal Team News
How will Koeman set out his Barcelona team? It is assured that Barcelona will play 4-3-3- as Koeman takes the team back to the Dutch and Johan Cruyff-inspired club. Barcelona left the Dutch influence behind with the arrival of Pep Guardiola and have been absent of that inspiration for over 10 years.
Miralem Pjanic is one of the big names to arrive in the offseason. He came over from Juventus in a separate transfer that sent Arthur to Turin. Barcelona sold midfielder Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla and leaving a spot open in the team. Who will Koeman select to take up the midfield positions along with Frenkie de Jong?
Griezmann and Lionel Messi are assured of places in the front three. Philippe Coutinho is back, fresh off of winning the Champions League with Barcelona. He should be deployed along with the two other front men.
Luis Suarez is still at the club but could be sold before the transfer window closes on October 5. A deal to Juventus collapsed and Barcelona are resisting the sale of Suarez to La Liga title rival Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona vs Villarreal Prediction
Both teams to score - BET NOW
Villarreal have conceded goals in both matches this season. Sunday’s trip to Camp Nou is a test to see just how good they are under Emery. In all likelihood, Barcelona are to continue their unbeaten streak against Villarreal. The last three games played between Barcelona and Villarreal in La Liga finished with both teams finding the back of the net. Seven of the last 10 meetings between the clubs in La Liga ended with both teams scoring.
Over 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW
What Barcelona team will we see on Sunday night? Will it be the old, unfit team that were embarrassed by Bayern Munich 8-2 or will it be the team that defeated Villarreal twice last term? It is likely to be the latter. Barcelona outscored Villarreal 6-2 in 2019-20 over the course of two La Liga matches. Both games finished with over 2.5 goals tallied. The Yellow Submarine are also coming off of a matchday 2 win which saw over 2.5 goals.
Antoine Griezmann to score anytime - BET NOW
Griezmann scored two goals in two meetings with Villarreal last season. Lionel Messi may finally be coming around to Griezmann. Reports indicated the two were not friendly with each other last season. However, Messi needs Griezmann to be at his best. Barcelona defeated Elche for the Joan Gamper Trophy in preseason. Griezmann got the decisive goal in the game thanks to a cutting pass from Messi.
The French World Cup winner’s first year at Camp Nou did not go well. He scored just nine La Liga goals, the fewest since Griezmann played for Real Sociedad. Even worse was his four assists. It was Griezmann’s lowest assist total since 2014-15. The forward averaged just 1.92 shots per 90 minutes in La Liga last term.
If Barcelona want to return to the summit of La Liga, they need Griezmann to be at his best. Of course, Messi will be nearly unstoppable on the domestic front. It is the European stage where the 33-year-old could stumble once more.
Villarreal should offer a challenge to Barcelona on opening day. In the end, Barcelona should keep their unbeaten streak going with a win.
Barcelona vs Villarreal Bookmaker Offers
ITV Racing 4/1 Offer
Back a winner at 4/1 or more and get a risk free bet on the next live ITV race (up to £50) at bet365. Offer applies to first single bet placed. Applies to Win and Each-Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place Terms markets only. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only.
*Exclusive* 100% Up To £30 On Your First Deposit
New Customers only. £10 min deposit. The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater. Wagering must be cleared within 60 days. This offer may not be combined with any other offer. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method,withdrawal restrictions & full Full T&C’s apply
Barcelona vs Villarreal Frequently Asked Questions
What stadium is Barcelona vs Villarreal being played at?
The Camp Nou will host the LA Liga match between Barcelona and Villarreal.A
What are the odds on Barcelona winning vs Villarreal on Sunday?
What are the odds on Villarreal winning vs Barcelona on Sunday?
What time is kick-off for Barcelona vs Villarreal on Sunday?
The Barcelona vs Villarreal kick-off time is 20:00 on Sunday 27 September.A