Barcelona will be hosting Villareal at the Camp Nou on 8 November, Sunday. The Catalan giants will be looking to keep up with La Liga leaders Real Madrid by beating Villareal.
Barcelona are currently in the second position of the La Liga points table. Real Madrid and Barcelona have the same number of points, but Rafa Benitez's men are ahead because of their superior goal difference.
Meanwhile, if Villareal can somehow edge past Barcelona on Sunday, they will have just one point to seperate them from the latter.
Barcelona are in good form, and will be looking forward to extend their three-match winning streak in the La Liga. The defending La Liga champions lost a couple of matches on a trot before Lionel Messi was injured. After their defeat to Sevilla last month, Luis Enrique's men have not lost a single game and gone on to score 10 goals â€” by either Neymar or Luis Suarez â€” in their last three matches.
The duo has scored 17 goals this season, and Enrique can afford to relax against Villareal even without Messi's presence.
Villareal on the other hand have managed to win just one out of their last four matches in all the leagues. They are coming into this crucial fixture on the back of a victory against Dinamo Minsk in the Europa League. History suggest that Barcelona have got the better off Villareal most of the time at Camp Nou. The home advantage will anyway be an added one for Barcelona.
Barcelona will play this game without Javier Mascherano, who is suspended for a game. Messi is yet to recover from his injury and Ivan Rakitic picked up a calf injury and will also be sidelined.
"Rakitic's injury disrupts our plans because of his quality and because it's going to be a tough game against Villarreal. We obviously miss Messi a great deal, but I've always said the team has a lot of resources," Enriuqe told mediapersons ahead of their Sunday clash against Villareal at the Camp Nou.
On the other hand, Villareal head coach Marcelino Garcia Toral will have to deal with a number of injuries as Adrian Lopez, Mateo Musacchio, Sergio Asenjo and Leo Baptistao will be sidelined. Eric Bertrand Bailly will sit out due to match suspension.
Barcelona: Bravo, Alves, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta; Munir, Suarez, Neymar.
Villareal: Areola; Gaspar, Bonera, Ruiz, Costa; Dos Santos, Trigueros, Bruno, Suarez; Soldado, Bakambu.
Where to watch live:
Where to watch live
Barcelona vs Villareal is scheduled to kick-off at 3 pm GMT (8:30pm IST, 4 pm BST, 10 am EST).
In India, viewers can catch the action between Barcelona and Villareal on Sony Six HD and Sony KIX. The live streaming option will be available on Livsports.
In Spain, viewers can catch the game on Canal + Liga/HD and Abono Futbol. Online streaming will be available on Movistar TV.