The worst rival at the worst time. High altitude duel at the Ceramic Stadium amidst the storm that is raging in Can Barça, with a team in the doldrums four points from the leader and with a Quique Setién who seems unable to redirect the situation. Barcelona meets the best Villarreal of the season in the match corresponding to matchday 34 of the Santander League (10pm / Movistar LaLiga).
They say that after the storm calm comes, but It will be difficult against one of the fittest teams in the championship in the return of Spanish football. Villarreal is like a shot and is probably the worst rival that Barça can face at the moment wanting to drown their penalties. Javi Calleja’s men are three points from the Champions zone, They have accumulated five wins and a draw in the last six games. and they come to the meeting after a great victory at Benito Villamarín (0-2). His figures on the return of football are scary: 16 of 18 possible points and a clean sheet in five of the six games played.
For Barcelona it is win or die. After the draw against Atlético that allowed Real Madrid to increase their lead to four points at the top of the table, the azulgranas cannot afford another puncture. And Setién will presumably face what will be one more final for the League with Antoine Griezmann, who will start after the embarrassment suffered against his former team at Camp Nou. The Frenchman entered the 90th minute of play after spending more than 30 minutes warming up on the sideline and will seek to redeem himself against Villarreal.
Javier Calleja will seek to hunt for fourth place by returning to 4-3-3. In the goal the fireproof Sergio Asenjo, who has recovered his best level and is one of the best goalkeepers of the moment. In defense, the Albiol-Pau Torres pair of center-backs seems immovable, with Mario and Alberto Moreno on the sides. One of the keys to the good moment the team is going through is defensive security, fitting only two goals against in the six games played after the return of football.
In the middle of the field, Calleja could count on the balance of André Zambo Anguissa along with the magicians Trigueros and Cazorla, who is going through a great moment of form. In the front, Chukwueze, Alcacer and Gerard Moreno They could start out. With both goals against Betis, Moreno confirmed himself as one of the fittest players: is the League Czar with 15 goals and threatens to continue his streak against Barcelona.
For his part, in Barcelona the novelty is the more than likely return of Antoine Griezmann to the starting eleven. The ‘MSG’ will have one more opportunity to demonstrate its power from the start at the La Cerámica Stadium. Also, Riqui Puig will continue to have Setien’s confidence in Villarreal. The youth squad is being the best of his team and brings that vitality that is so much missed in the midfield culé with the loss of De Jong.
Ter Stegen It will start at the goal, with Semedo, Pique, Lenglet and Jordi Alba in defence. In the middle of the field, Busquets will form behind Riqui Puig and Arturo vidal, who continues to count on the trust of Setién. And up front what was said: Messi, Suarez and Griezmann, who will seek to vindicate himself and silence his critics after the complicated situation he experienced against Atlético de Madrid during the last league game.
Del Cerro Grande will deliver justice
The madrileño Carlos del Cerro Grande will referee the duel between Villarreal and Barcelona, with Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea in the VOR room. The referee has refereed Villarreal twice this season, with a balance of one win and one loss, and on one occasion Barcelona, in the first match after confinement at Son Moix (0-4).
The Ceramic Stadium will host one of the best matches of the day, if not the best, with a lot at stake: Villarreal will seek fourth place and Barcelona will not fail and wait for a puncture from Real Madrid in San Mamés to stay alive in the fight for the title.