La Liga holders Barcelona welcome Villarreal to Camp Nou on Tuesday as they look to bounce back from a shock defeat to recently promoted Granada, who currently sit at the top of the standings.


La Blaugrana head into the clash in poor form, having won just two of their last five fixtures, both of which were 5-2 victories against Real Betis and Valencia. 

Gerard Pique,Domingos Duarte

Villarreal, meanwhile, cruised past Valladolid 2-0 to record their second ​La Liga win of the season, Javier Calleja's side showing their dominance in a performance that suggested they may well have the tools to beat Barcelona on Tuesday evening. 


With a fiery encounter in prospect, here's 90min's preview of the game.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off?Tuesday 24 September
What Time Is Kick Off?20:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played?Camp Nou
TV Channel/Live Stream?Premier Sports 2
Referee?Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea​

Team News


​Star forward Lionel Messi featured in Barca's 2-0 loss to Granada as a substitute and it's likely the Argentinian will be fit enough to start.


Left back Jordi Alba pulled his hamstring in the Champions League and should be out of action for a few weeks, while Ousmane Dembele is closing in on a comeback.

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-PSV

Defender Samuel Umtiti is expected to remain sidelined for at least another month with a foot problem.


Villarreal, meanwhile, are without two players - Alberto Moreno and Bruno Soriano - thanks to respective muscle and leg injuries.


Potential Lineups


BarcelonaTer Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Semedo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann.
VillarrealAsenjo; Pena, Torres, Albiol, Quintilla; Anguissa, Iborra; Chukwueze, Cazorla, Gomez; Bacca. 

Head to Head Record


Barcelona have, unsurprisingly, dominated this fixture historically, with Villarreal only managing to win eight of the 42 games played over the years.

Alvaro Gonzalez,Luis Suarez

The Catalans have not been beaten by the Yellow Submarine in the last eight fixtures, but the last meeting between the sides was a brilliant 4-4 draw where Luis Suarez and Messi both scored in stoppage time to seal a dramatic comeback for La Blaugrana.


Recent Form


Barcelona have made a slow start to the season without their talismanic figure Messi, losing on the opening day to Aritz Aduriz's incredible effort for Athletic Club, only drawing with Osasuna and losing their most recent fixture against Granada.


5-2 wins over Real Betis and Valencia have been more convincing, but their goalless draw at the Westfalenstadion against Dortmund last week was uninspiring - they were fortunate not to lose.

Marco Reus,Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Villarreal have pretty much the same form coming into this fixture, having drawn once, winning and losing twice each. However, they have won two on the bounce, so should head into this match with plenty of confidence.


Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:


Barcelona

Villarreal
Granada 2-0 Barcelona (21/9)Villarreal 2-0 Valladolid (21/9)
Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona (17/9)Leganes 0-3 Villarreal (14/9)
Barcelona 5-2 Valencia (14/9)Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid (1/9)
Osasuna 2-2 Barcelona (31/8)Levante 2-1 Villarreal (23/8)
Barcelona 5-2 Betis (25/8)Villarreal 4-4 Granada (17/8)

Prediction


Villarreal should be optimistic heading into this one, while Barcelona will be aware they cannot afford to drop any further points at such an early stage of the season.

A returning Messi should rejuvenate this Barcelona side and with manager Ernesto Valverde under immense pressure, a win is the only option as he looks to hang onto his job.


Expect the captain to make the difference once more and bail this Barcelona side out.

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal