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Dec 8, 2017


Barcelona visit Villarreal on Sunday hoping to maintain their five point lead at the top of the La Liga table. After picking up 34 points from their opening 12 games of the season, Barca have been held in their last two league matches against Valencia and Celta Vigo. Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele are both major doubts for the game, while a return for Rafinha also looks unlikely as he battles back fitness after a long spell on the sidelines.


Bookmakers don't believe those absences will affect Barca, with the table-toppers priced at 8/15 to win the game. Villarreal are available at 9/2, with the draw on offer at 13/4.



Barcelona fancied to comfortably see off Villarreal.

Barca have dominated this fixture in recent times, winning 13 and drawing five of their last 18 meetings with Villarreal in all competitions.


However, betting on sports can be unpredictable as highlighted by the 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture last season. Lionel Messi's late equaliser snatched a point for the visitors and a repeat of that scoreline can be backed at 15/2 this weekend.


Messi remains a reliable source of goals for Barca and looks well worth an interest at 11/4 to score the opener this weekend. Barcelona have won five out of seven away matches in the league this term, with their only draws coming against Atletico Madrid and Valencia.


Villarreal recorded four victories and a draw from their six home games, but their only game against a team currently in the top 10 (Sevilla) resulted in a defeat. Barca have conceded just three goals away from the Nou Camp this season and many punters will be tempted by the 2/1 on offer for them to win to nil on Sunday.


The home side's best hope of success is likely to come by keeping things tight and hoping Barca's forwards have a rare off day. A 1-0 win to Villarreal is priced at 35/2 and that seems the most probable scoreline for a home victory.Cedric Bakambu has been in prolific form for Villarreal this season, scoring 14 goals in 19 games in all competitions, and could be worth an interest at 6/1 to open the scoring against Barca.


Ernesto Valverde's side didn’t need to be at their best to beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday and they are fancied to prove far too strong for Villarreal this weekend. A 2-0 victory for Barca can be backed at 8/1 and that could be worth a wager.

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