Barcelona will clash heads with Villarreal at the Nou Camp on Sunday night hoping to kick off their La Liga campaign with a victory at home. The Catalans managed to win the Joan Gamper trophy last weekend when they beat Elche by a narrow 1-0 scoreline courtesy of Antoine Griezmann’s early goal in that game. Hence, the Barca players will head into this clash with some confidence under their belt, but it won’t be easy for them to get the better of a Villarreal team that has already picked up four points from their two league fixtures so far.
Ronald Koeman will probably opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation and might name an unchanged side for this crucial encounter at Catalonia. Griezmann will once again get the responsibility to lead the charge while new signing, Francisco Trincão has to settle for a spot on the bench.
4-2-3-1 Barcelona Predicted Lineup To Face Villarreal
Neto will lineup in between the sticks for the Catalans in the absence of Marc-Andre ter Stegen who will miss out because of a knee injury. Gerard Pique will once again partner Clement Lenglet at the heart of Koeman’s defence as they look to restrict the Villarreal attackers from scoring this weekend.
Sergi Roberto will get the nod to operate at right-back while Jordi Alba hopes to make some quick runs on the other side as the left-back. Both Barca full-backs will be expected to press high up the field so that they can stretch the opposition defence and create some decent openings for the likes of Griezmann and Lionel Messi up top.
Junior Firpo will have to be content with a place on the bench but might come on to make an impact in the second half if required.
Frenkie de Jong will anchor the midfield along with Sergio Busquets as they look to produce a commanding performance collectively at the centre of the park. The talented trio of Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi will look to link up with each other and cause a lot of problems for the Villarreal defenders in the final third.
Messi has been Barca’s main goal-threat for more than a decade, so we can expect him to be a constant menace for the opposition down the right flank. Both Miralem Pjanic and Ousmane Dembele will be available for selection on the bench as they await their opportunity to shine as the impact substitutes if the Catalan outfit require a goal late in the game.
Griezmann will spearhead Koeman’s attack up top after scoring the only goal of the match against Elche last weekend. The French striker needs to improve his standards big time this season following a disappointing spell from him at the Nou Camp thus far. He would have to carry a major share of the goal-scoring workload in the attacking third.
As mentioned earlier, Trincao will make up the numbers on the Barca bench and could feature in this game if Koeman decides to call upon his services.