The first match of the 2023/24 La Liga campaign was a stumbling block for both teams, as Villarreal lost 2-1 to Real Betis at home while Barcelona’s trip to Getafe ended in a goalless draw. However, both the Yellow Submarine and the Catalans improved in Matchday 2, recording their first wins of the season.
On Sunday, August 27, Villarreal host Barcelona at La Ceramica, with the kick-off scheduled for 5:30 pm local time. Quique Setien and Xavi are two attack-minded coaches so we should expect an entertaining game, something which will be reflected in our Villarreal vs Barcelona tips.
Barcelona started the league season on the wrong foot and now their main competitors, Real Madrid, are two points ahead. While a draw away against Villarreal may be regarded as a decent result under certain circumstances, the Catalans are currently not in the position to drop points twice in three matches, so we expect Xavi’s men to go all out for the win.
Certainly, it will be no easy task beating the Yellow Submarine at their own stadium, especially with Raphinha suspended and Ronald Araujo out with an injury. However, Setien’s side has been struggling massively in defence since the start of the season, as one would expect after the departure of starting centre-back Pau Torres during the summer transfer window.
Barcelona beat Villarreal twice last season, 3-0 at home and 1-0 on the road, and we expect a similar outcome in Sunday’s match despite the rather high 2.00 odds from Bet365.
Barcelona to score over 1.5 goals
You may notice that our Villarreal vs Barcelona tips are rather Barça-centric. That is because it is nearly impossible to predict what Villarreal will look like from match to match. Quique took charge of the club last October and there is no doubt that the quality of football has improved since then, but the results have been all over the place: 19 wins, 13 losses and six draws. The main reason for it, of course, has been the poor performances at the back.
For now, there are no reasons to believe that the Yellow Submarine will find the much-needed defensive stability despite the clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Mallorca – if anything, that shows how poor Mallorca’s attack was. Real Betis managed to put two past Villarreal’s inexperienced Filip Jorgensen on opening day, so what would stop Barcelona from doing the same? Bet365 offers 1.80 odds on this event.
Robert Lewandowski to score anytime
Robert Lewandowski’s first season at Barcelona was in no case a disaster: with 33 goals in 46 games, the Polish veteran led the club to a win in La Liga and Spanish Super Cup while being crowned the league’s top goalscorer.
However, many have noted his drop in form following the 2022 World Cup, and there have been no clear signs of improvement over the pre-season. Lewandowski failed to score in either of Barcelona’s two games so far, and Xavi was even forced to address the 35-year-old’s lack of output in a recent press conference.
The coach still believes in his striker, saying that Robert just needs to score his first and then the goals will come by the dozen. We, too, believe that it is too early to rule Lewandowski out, and considering the aforementioned problems with Villarreal’s defence, we see it likely that the forward opens his count for the 2023/24 season at La Ceramica. Bet365 offers 2.05 odds on Lewandowski scoring anytime during the match.
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