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Home Fantasy BAR vs VIL, La Liga 2021/22: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

BAR vs VIL, La Liga 2021/22: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

Barcelona will host Villarreal at the Camp Nou for the final La Liga encounter of the season on the 23rd of May. Barcelona will be looking to end their 2021-22 La Liga campaign on a strong and positive note when they welcome Villarreal to the campaign on Sunday night.

The Catalan giants have secured the second position in the table, already behind league champions Real Madrid. They have little to play for heading into this encounter. Meanwhile, Villarreal are bidding to hold off competition from Athletic Bilbao to finish seventh in Spain’s top flight and qualify for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

It has been a season full of ups and downs for Barcelona, who had to watch arch-rivals Real Madrid win the La Liga by an emphatic fashion and qualify for the final of the UEFA Champions League from the sidelines. Following the most chaotic start to a Liga season in over two decades, things became better for Barcelona when former club legend Xavi helmed the side as manager.

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann departure over the summer had left them in complete turmoil. Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman’s fate had already been sealed following the disaster of start where they also crashed out of the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Barcelona were ninth in the league table when Xavi took over. Therefore, achieving second place by the end of the season is a remarkable achievement although the Catalans will finish this season trophyless. It has been a relatively stable second half of the season, especially for Barcelona who picked up 73 points from the 37 league matches so far this season. They are five points clear of Atletico Madrid in third place.

The Catalan giants have won 21, drawn 10 and lost six of their 37 matches in La Liga this season. Their highlight of the season was when they went on a 15-game unbeaten streak between February and March in 2022, which was topped with an impressive 4-0 routing of league champions Real Madrid at their own backyard in the Santiago Bernabeu. Xavi’s side are currently on a four-match unbeaten run, defeating Mallorca, Real Betis and Celta Vigo before playing out a drab and goalless draw with Getafe last weekend.

Barcelona encountered high-profile failures in both the Champions League as well as the Europa League this season. However, they have the fourth-best home record in the Spanish top flight. They have picked up 38 points from 18 games at the Camp Nou and they will be welcoming a Villarreal side that only have the 11th best record in the league on the road.

Barcelona have a mighty impressive record against Villarreal and have won their last five La Liga matches against the Yellow submarine. They had also secured a 3-1 victory over the visitors in the reverse fixture at the Estadio de la Ceramica earlier this season.

Villarreal will have to battle history if they wish to end the season on a positive note. They haven’t been able to defeat Barcelona in Laliga since March of 2008. On that occasion nearly 14 years ago, the Yellow Submarine had recorded a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou, which indicates the size of the mountain that they will have to climb on Sunday evening.

Villarreal did manage to reach the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League, but they ended up losing to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the final four. They will be unable to play in the Champions League next season or in the Europa League, however, as they haven’t been able to secure a top-six finish in La Liga. Unai Emery’s side have only picked up 56 points from their 37 league matches so far this season.

Villarreal continue to lead Athletic Bilbao in eighth place by a single point. The battle for the seventh place is expected to continue into the final match of the season, which would see either club qualifying for the playoff round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Beggars cannot be choosers and Villarreal will view any European football next season as a positive on their CV. However, having proved their merit in this season’s Champions League campaign, the fact that they will not be present in either the Champions League or the Europa League next season will be seen as a huge disappointment back at home.

The Yellow Submarine did manage to hammer Rayo Vallecano 5-1 in the last away match on May 12. However, they also went on to suffer a 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad in their previous match, which was held on May 15.

BAR vs VIL, La Liga 2021/22

Date: 23rd May, 2022

Time: 1:30 AM IST

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona

FORM GUIDE:

Barcelona La Liga form:

  • W-L-W-W-W-D

Barcelona form (all competitions):

  • W-L-W-W-W-D

Villarreal La Liga form:

  • W-W-L-D-W-L

Villarreal form (all competitions):

  • L-L-L-D-W-L

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Barcelona wins: 29

Draws: 10

Villarreal wins: 8

TEAM NEWS:

Barcelona Team News: Barcelona have a long list of absentees and injury-ridden players at the moment, which is why they will be glad that this season is finally coming to a close. Center-backs Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique, full-backs Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest and midfielders Nico Gonzalez and Pedri are all definitely out of contention to make it to the matchday squad for one final time this season.

There are considerable doubts on whether Memphis Depay will be able to participate, although he has been named in the initial squad. Frankie De Jong is also expected to return to the squad after having served a suspension against Getafe last time around. Both Depay and De Jong might well be on their way out of Catalonia next season. They are two of the few players in the squad who still have a high market value and the debt-ridden club could end up hearing offers for them as they gear up for a busy summer ahead. Therefore, both the Dutch players might be given opportunities to bid goodbye to the fans on Sunday.

Ronald Araujo had also suffered a terrible concussion, which had forced him to go to the hospital immediately the last time he played a match at the Camp Nou. However, he has recovered well and is set to make a timely return for the home side.

Araujo could end up partnering French defender Clement Lenglet in the middle of the defence. Lenglet is another one of those players who have been put on the exit list by Barcelona. Jordi Alba should also return to this clash after missing the previous match against Getafe due to suspension.

Adama Traore will battle with Ousmane Dembele for a spot on the right flank in the attack. Dembele’s future in Barcelona continues to be shrouded in smoke but as of this moment, his departure is almost taken for granted after months and months of negotiations with his agent have borne little to no fruit. There will be one final meeting with his representatives following this fixture to decide his future at Camp Nou.

Villarreal Team News: as far as Villarreal are concerned, important players, Gerard Moreno and Alberto Moreno will be out on the sidelines through injury. There are also doubts surrounding Arnaut Danjuma and Yeremi Pino for the Yellow Submarine.

Juan Foyth will also miss the trip to Barcelona after picking up a yellow card against Real Sociedad. Mario Gaspar could slot in a tried back this weekend in his absence.

There are unlikely to be too many changes in other departments, however. Giovani Lo Celso is expected to operate in advanced areas in midfield alongside Boulaye Dia, while Francis Coquelin could once again take up a wide role.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, F de Jong; Dembele, Aubameyang, F Torres

Villarreal possible starting lineup:

Rulli; Gaspar, Albiol, P Torres, Estupinan; Chukwueze, Capoue, Parejo, Coquelin; Lo Celso, Dia

Predictions:

This is a way bigger match than Villarreal. Then it is for Barcelona who have little to play for. The yellow submarine will be desperate to finish 7th in order to have any chance of playing European football next season. With that being said, however, Xavi’s side has plenty of resources in their arsenal and they will be looking to end a tumultuous and turbulent campaign on a very positive note in front of the home fans. Therefore, one can expect Barcelona to pick up all three points from this match on Sunday evening.

BAR vs VIL Fantasy XI No. 1

BAR vs VIL Fantasy XI No. 2

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