Barcelona, after winning the Copa del Rey, are fully focused on winning La Liga and earning the double in Ronald Koeman’s first season in charge of the Blaugrana. They face Villarreal this afternoon, a game which is, as noted by Mundo Deportivo, a great chance to put pressure on Atletico Madrid before they face Athletic Bilbao this evening.
It promises to be a tough game, however. Villarreal, in Gerard Moreno, have one of the most in-form forwards in European football, and his history with Espanyol means he doesn’t hold the Blaugrana in very high esteem. His match-up with Gerard Pique is set to be a key battle in the game. Villarreal face Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final this coming Thursday, but coach Unai Emery has made clear their focus is on Barcelona.
Barcelona last lost at Villarreal in 2007/08, playing eleven league games and two Copa del Rey games at La Ceramica since then, winning eight and drawing five. Koeman will be hoping his team can maintain their good run, and while the Yellow Submarine have Moreno the Catalans do have Lionel Messi, a man playing with fire in his eyes and ice in his veins.