Villarreal have started the season impressively, qualifying for the Champions League after cruising past Odense 3-1 in the qualification play-off, but this is where the season starts for real and they could not have hand-picked a tougher match to begin with.
Their hosts will take some stopping and the Yellow Submarine’s defence will have to be at the top of their game to come away from the Camp Nou with anything as Alexis Sanchez, Leo Messi and David Villa form arguably the most dynamic front-line in the world. However, everything points towards a Barcelona win.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Abidal ; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Sanchez, Messi, Villa
Villarreal (4-4-2): Diego Lopez; Angel, Zapata, Musacchio, Catala; Borja Valero, Bruno, Senna, Cani; Rossi, Nilmar
League form: Barcelona last five home W-W-W-W-D
Villarreal last five away L-L-D-D-L
Did you know…Villarreal have not beaten the Catalan giants since March 2008 when Marcos Senna and Jon Darl Tomasson lead the Yellow Submarine to a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou.