Barcelona vs Villareal: Full Match Preview

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 20: Pablo Paez 'Gavi' of FC Barcelona with the ball during the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Cadiz CF at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on August 20, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 20: Pablo Paez 'Gavi' of FC Barcelona with the ball during the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Cadiz CF at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on August 20, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

FC Barcelona moved on from the 0-0 slugfest of the first game of the season to secure a 2-0 victory against Cádiz CF last weekend. Barça now take another trip to Villareal, where they’ll look to step up their game and add another win early in the season. Villareal is a team is full of quality and former Barça manager Quique Setién will surely give his all to steal the three points. While not an easy match, the Catalans have history on their side:

Below we’ll share where you can watch it, recent team news, and predicted starters for both squads.

Villareal CF vs FC Barcelona – When, Where & How to Watch

When: August 27th, 17:30 CEST (11:30 EST, 14:30 GMT)

Where: Estadio de la Cerámica, Villareal, Spain

How: DAZN (Spain), ESPN+ (USA), La Liga TV (UK)

FC Barcelona team news

In a disheartening piece of news, Pedri will be out for around 5-6 weeks after suffering a quadriceps injury in training. This is a pretty big blow for the team, and Xavi will have to scheme around his absence for now.

Speaking of Xavi, after the extremely physical (for lack of a better word) match against Getafe the first week of the season, both he and Raphinha remain suspended for this one. The good news on that front, however, is that they’ll both be available starting next week against Osasuna.

Ronald Araújo remains out for this one after suffering a hamstring injury last week.

Iñigo Martínez has recently completed a full training alongside his teammates for the first time since joining this summer. However, he won’t be available for this one as 1. He’s not fully medically cleared yet and 2. He hasn’t been registered yet for La Liga. This puts him in the same boat as Marcos Alonso, who hasn’t been registered yet either.

It seems as though the João Cancelo won’t be official either until at least the match against Osasuna, so he won’t be part of this one.

Barcelona Potential Starting XI (4-3-3):

Marc-André ter Stegen (GK)
Jules Koundé (RB), Frenkie de Jong (CB), Andreas Christensen (CB), Alejandro Balde (LB)
Oriol Romeu (CM), İlkay Gündoğan (CM), Gavi (CM)
Ferran Torres (LW), Lewandowski (ST), Lamine Yamal (RW)

Villareal CF team news

The team from Castellón have split their first two matches of the season, first losing to Real Betis and then defeating Mallorca 1-0. Gerard Moreno scored the winning goal in that one.

They’ll be missing Alberto Moreno due to injury, with Yeremi Pino in doubt for the match due to injury as well.

Villareal Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3)

Jörgensen (GK)
Foyth (RB), Albiol (CB), Cuenca (CB), Pedraza (LB)
Capoue (CM), Parejo (CM), Terrats (CM)
Gerard Moreno (RW),  Sørloth (ST), Baena (LW)

Barça vs Villareal: Last 5 meetings

As stated above, the fact that Barça are playing away from home in this one is encouraging, as they haven’t lost away to Villareal for 15 years. However, Villareal did steal three points from the Catalans in Catalonia a couple seasons ago. One thing’s for sure, these matches always have plenty of action.

Villareal 0-1 Barcelona  (February 2023)
Barcelona 3-0 Villareal  (October 2022)
Barcelona 0-2 Villareal (May 2022)
Villareal 1 – 3 Barcelona (November 2021)
Villareal 1 – 2 Barcelona (April 2021)

Barça vs Villareal: Current Form

Barcelona have played a couple of lackluster games so far. Against Getafe, they weren’t able to find a crack in the armor in what turned out to be a slog of a game. Very physical, lots of fouls, and 3 reds (2 for Barça). They lacked creativity in the final third and didn’t get too many clear chances, although to be fair it would’ve been difficult for any team against Getafe’s super defensive mentality.

Against Cádiz, a team that plays similarly to Getafe, they found more success. The midfield showed more creativity, playing more quickly. Barça had many more chances (the game could’ve ended 4-0 if those chances were taken). After a beautiful passage of play, Pedri scored the first, Ferran Torres adding a second later on. However, despite the win and the improvement, it still wasn’t the best performance Xavi’s men are capable of.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Submarine has lost one match and won another. Against Betis they had more possession and more shots but they were bested by a 95th minute winner from Willian José, ending the match 1-2. Against Mallorca, they had an uneventful first half but stepped on the gas in the second. They were clearly the better side in that one, with Gerard Moreno nabbing the only goal.

Villareal – Barcelona Score Prediction

Villareal 0 – 2 Barcelona

Villareal are a side with plenty of quality, but they do seem to be a bit lacking for goals early on in the season. Add to that the performances Barcelona’s defense has been putting in (especially Jules Koundé!) and I don’t see them scoring. On the other hand, the Culers have been improving steadily over their last 2, and against a team that doesn’t play such a low block, I see Barça scoring at least a couple of goals. Here’s hoping Robert Lewandowski will break out of this slump and grab a goal or two.