Barcelona vs Villarreal Preview
After a goal-intensive round last weekend, the La Liga title race continues with another set of entertaining matches. Barcelona have not yet given up on the league but the good form of their competitors means that Xavi’s team has no room for error, and their next opponents are going to be Villarreal, a solid team in recent years. The kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 pm local time on Saturday, January 27.
It is also important to note in our Barcelona vs Villarreal prediction that the Catalans have a Copa del Rey quarter-final match against Athletic Bilbao planned for Wednesday whereas the visitors get a full week of rest.
Barcelona third in La Liga with 44 points after 20 matches, having scored 40 and conceded 24 goals. The Catalans are eight points behind league-leaders Girona and seven points behind Real Madrid. They need a lot of things to go in their favour in order to defend their league title.
Xavi’s men have been rather inconsistent this season, and their recent form of three wins, one draw and one loss in the last five league matches shows just this.
A key aspect of the Barcelona vs Villarreal tips will be the absentees, as the hosts are missing Gavi, Marcos Alonso, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Iñigo Martínez and Raphinha through injury. Joao Cancelo is a doubt as well.
Villarreal finished fifth in La Liga last term but a slow start to the season and off-the-pitch issues have resulted in the sacking of Quique Setien. Pacheta did little to improve the team and was fired too, with Marcelino replacing him at the helm of the Yellow Submarine on November 13.
Nonetheless, the team’s struggles continue, currently 14th in the standings 20 points after 21 matches and a goal record of 28 scored and 42 conceded. Their form includes one win, one draw and three losses in the last five games.
The visitors cannot count on key players like Yeremy Pino, Dani Parejo, Alfonso Pedraza and Ramon Terrats due to injury. All things considered, it is easy to see why the Barcelona vs Villarreal odds favour the hosts.
Betting Tips for Barcelona vs Villarreal
Both teams to score? Yes
The Catalans may be on a better run of form at the moment but their performances remain unconvincing, especially in the defensive department. For that reason, our first Barcelona vs Villarreal prediction is a goal in both nets. Bet365 give 1.57 odds on both teams scoring.
To back it up with numbers, Barcelona have failed to keep a single clean sheet in their last five La Liga outings. It is not surprising considering that first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is sidelined with an injury. Villarreal have the seventh-best attack in Spain so they should be able to score past Barcelona, even away.
And while Villarreal's attack is in the top half in La Liga, their defence is simply disastrous. Only last-placed Almeria have conceded more than the Yellow Submarine in 2023/24 La Liga so far. Moreover, the visitors have not kept a clean sheet since September, so it is very difficult to imagine them doing so this Saturday.
Over 3.5 goals
With a defence as weak as Villarreal’s, it is easy for us to envision a high-scoring match at the Lluis Companys stadium. The odds on over 3.5 goals stand at 1.91 on Bet365.
Four goals may seem like a lot but there has been a trend on high-scoring games for both Barcelona and Villarreal. The Catalans are coming after a 4-2 win over Real Betis, and three out of their last five La Liga matches have included four or more goals. As for the Yellow Submarine, there have been over 3.5 goals in three out of their last five matches as well.
Lastly, Barcelona are bound to be tired after their Copa del Rey clash against Athletic Bilbao and this could open the door for even more defensive errors, thus increasing the number of scoring opportunities Villarreal will get.
As we claimed above, Barcelona cannot afford to drop points anymore if they want to continue as title contenders. Regardless of the bloated calendar and squad problems, the Catalans need the full points on Saturday, and that is exactly what we expect to happen. Bet365 give 1.33 odds on a win for the hosts.
If we are to look at the performances across all competitions, Xavi’s team has played six matches since the start of 2024, winning all of them but for the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid. Villarreal, with all due respect, do not look like a team capable of beating Barcelona at the moment, as they have lost the last three La Liga matches.
If you want to combine our Barcelona vs Villarreal tips, then the odds on both teams scoring and the hosts winning stand at 2.63 on Bet365. As a reminder, the two teams faced off in September, and the game at La Ceramica ended in a 4-3 win for the Catalans.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Barcelona vs Villarreal tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.