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|Match Winner and Total Goals||Odds|
|Barcelona and Under 2.5||+360
|Barcelona and Over 2.5||+135
|Villarreal and Under 2.5||+800
|Villarreal and Over 2.5||+500
Odds from BetMGM. Get up to a $500 sign-up bonus at BetMGM today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
Barcelona have the best-attacking numbers in the league and Villarreal’s defense is not the stingiest.
Back an away win with more than 2.5 goals in total
|Villarreal vs Barcelona Information|
|What||Villarreal vs Barcelona|
|Where||Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain|
|When||Sunday, 25 April 2021, 10.05 AM EDT|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
Some wrote off Barcelona’s chances of winning the La Liga title when they were beaten by Real Madrid in the Clasico earlier this month. Yet Ronald Koeman’s side have kept in touch with top spot, and will be just two points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid if they win their game in hand. Do not write Barcelona off just yet.
A trip to Villarreal has the potential to be tricky, but Barcelona should come through it unscathed. Back an away win with over 2.5 goals in total, available at +135 with BetMGM.
This has been a monumental week in the world of European soccer. On Sunday, Barcelona were among 12 clubs to announce that they had signed up to a Super League that would transform the sport on the continent. The breakaway competition would in effect replace the Champions League, and there would be no promotion into it or relegation out of it. Within 48 hours, the plan was dead following the withdrawal of the Super League’s six English members.
Remarkably, neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid has given up hope of the tournament getting off the ground, but that position is grounded in desperation, not reality. Barca are reported to have debts worth more than $1.2 billion. Perhaps more than any other team, the Blaugrana really needed this project to work, and for the Super League’s ambitious financial projections to be realized. Instead, the incompetency of the plotters – some of whom are employed at the Camp Nou – has left them in a very difficult position.
Things look a little brighter on the pitch. Barcelona lost to Real Madrid earlier this month, but they bounced back with a 5-2 thrashing of Getafe on Thursday. Ronald Koeman’s side are just five points off top spot having played one game fewer than each of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Their title dreams are not over yet, despite the fact that this season has, in many ways, been disastrous for Barcelona off the field.
The players have for the most part been able to put the numerous distractions to one side in recent months, with Barca having won 14 of their last 16 La Liga outings. Another victory here would keep them in the title conversation.
Villarreal are among the many clubs that objected to the Super League, which aimed to sever the treasured link between performance and success. Places in the closed-off competition for outsiders like Villarreal would have been rare and temporary. The existing system is not perfect, but the Yellow Submarine and others at least know that a top-seven finish this term is guaranteed to bring European soccer, regardless of the size of the club’s fan base or bank balance.
As things stand, Villarreal will be involved in continental competition in 2021/22. However, the Europa League is the prize they are chasing, and a seventh-place finish – which is the position occupied by Unai Emery’s side going into the weekend – would only be enough for the inaugural Europa Conference League.
All is not lost, though. Sixth-placed Real Betis are above Villarreal on goal difference alone. Real Sociedad in fifth are just a point ahead, so there is plenty to play for as the La Liga campaign approaches its conclusion. Villarreal are also through to the semi-finals of the Europa League, whose winners will automatically qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, the most prestigious competition of all.
A run of eight games without a win between mid-January and mid-March is behind them, but Villarreal have been inconsistent in La Liga of late. They have suffered surprise 2-1 defeat by Alaves and Osasuna in recent weeks, but have also thrashed Levante 5-1 and Granada 3-0. It is hard to know which Villarreal will turn up on Sunday.
Emery will no doubt be concerned that his team has kept one clean sheet in their last 12 matches. That does not bode well for a meeting with Barcelona, who stuck five goals past Getafe last time out and have found the back of the net twice or more in 13 of their last 15 league encounters.
Lionel Messi has recaptured his best form, and Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann have chipped in too. Villarreal’s recent defensive record does not suggest they are in a position to cope with Barcelona’s unmatched firepower. With a division-high 74 goals to their name so far, the Blaugrana are averaging 2.39 goals per game.
Koeman’s side also knows that they must go all-out for victory on Sunday. A draw is no good to Barcelona unless Atletico and Madrid also slip-up. The Catalans are not out of the title race yet, but they are the outsiders and must surely win at least six of their remaining seven matches to stand a chance.
The form book and Barcelona’s superior quality suggest they will emerge triumphant over Villarreal. Goals could be on the cards too, which is why a two-pronged wager is a way to go.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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