All you need to know ahead of the big match in Spain on Saturday
The home side might have appealed to Unai Emery to stay in the wake of interest from Newcastle United recently, but it has been far from smooth for them this term and they sit 12th in the table ahead of the weekend after just one win in the last six in the league.
For Barca, they are set for their third match under new boss and former legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez; so far he’s unbeaten with a win and a draw, but he remains hampered by injury absences and his team have scored just one penalty so far.
The Catalan outfit are seventh in the table, six points off the Champions League spots and with work to do if they want to be among Europe’s elite next term.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.
When is the match?
The game kicks off at 8pm GMT at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday, 27 November.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be broadcast live on LaLigaTV. Subscribers can stream the match via the Premier Player app and desktop website.
What is the team news?
Gerard Moreno is the only likely absentee for the Yellow Submarine, with the forward likely to be replaced by Paco Alcacer.
Barcelona are without Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero and Ronald Araujo, unless the latter makes a dramatic recovery. Pedri is out until the new year and Dani Alves cannot be registered until then. Sergi Roberto is also still out despite a return to light training. Ousmane Dembele could start after an electric return off the bench in midweek, though won’t likely be a 90-minute performer. One of three youngsters could start out wide: Abde, Ilias or Yusuf Demir.
VIL – Rulli, Foyth, Albiol, P Torres, Pedraza, Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros, Pino, Alcacer, Danjuma
FCB – Ter Stegen, Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba, Busqets, F de Jong, Gavi, Abde, Memphis, Dembele
A tight game which again shows the starting blocks Xavi is trying to put into place, but also again shows the limitations of some of the players he is working with. A first goal conceded, but perhaps still no defeat either. Villarreal 1-1 Barcelona.