Barcelona look to bounce back as they host Villarreal

(Football news) Barcelona have had a tough past week with the draw against Inter Milan at home followed by the loss in the El Clasico. The Catalan giants are now 6 points behind Real Madrid in the La Liga table while they have little to no hope of making it to the UCL Round of 16. Xavi needs his men to bounce back as they host Villarreal at the Camp Nou. Unai Emery's side are currently 7th in the La Liga table after a decent start to the season. Their last game was a 2-0 win over Osasuna and they will be keen on getting something at the Nou Camp. Barcelona on the other hand need to win this game to get back on track. A loss or a draw in this game will put massive pressure on Xavi.

Barcelona's injury list is still pretty long as Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay and Andreas Christensen are all unavailable. It might be too risky to start Jules Kounde in back to back games after his comeback and Gerard Pique is the only replacement available. The issue with Xavi is that 3 of his wingers i.e Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Ferran Torres are most comfortable on the right wing. The Spaniard has to be bold and select one of them for that wing. Ansu Fati once again made a great impact off the bench at the Bernabéu and he is likely to get a start. As for Villarreal, Gerard Moreno, Francis Coquelin and Juan Foyth are all sidelined. 

If Inter Milan defeat Viktoria Plzen next week then Barcelona is guaranteed to finish 3rd which means they will drop to the Europa League. At this moment in time, the Blaugrana's focus has to be on the La Liga where they have a chance to close the gap on Real Madrid to 3 points. It is important that the Catalans prioritise the league as there is a realistic chance that they can still mount a proper title challenge to Real Madrid. The injury issues are not helping and the World Cup in December is likely to worsen their problems. Fixtures like Villarreal at home and Athletic Club on Sunday which is coming up on the weekend are the ones that they need to win without too much hassle.

Also read: Real Madrid get dominant victory over Elche to keep the momentum going


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