All you need to know ahead of the big match in Spain on Saturday
Barcelona are looking for their first goal in open play under new boss Xavi Hernandez, but he’ll take the positives of remaining unbeaten and keeping two clean sheets from his first two games in charge.
On Saturday evening they head to Villarreal, with Barca seventh and their hosts 12th in the table ahead of the weekend’s action – both teams should be looking far higher up the table.
A minor upturn in form is still a big improvement for the Catalan outfit given they took two points from the last four under Ronald Koeman, while Unai Emery’s team have won just one of the last six in LaLiga.
In midweek both clubs were in European action, with Barcelona being held to a goalless draw by Benfica and Villarreal being beaten by Michael Carrick’s Manchester United.
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.