Barcelona could go 11 points clear at the top of the La Liga table with a victory over Villarreal on Sunday evening. Xavi Hernandez’s side have been in excellent form of late, and will hope to continue that when they face former manager Quique Setien.
With Sergio Busquets ruled out for the next few weeks having suffered an ankle sprain just minutes into last Sunday’s victory over Sevilla, Xavi must now decide whether to change Barca’s system or to drop an unnatural pivot into the position. Sport believe that he will do the latter, with Frenkie De Jong set to start at the base of the midfield.
Franck Kessie is expected to replace Busquets in the team, while Alejandro Balde looks set to start ahead of Jordi Alba at left back, despite the veteran scoring one and assisting another against Sevilla.
Villarreal look set to be without talisman Gerard Moreno, and Jose Luis Morales is expected to be his replacement. Rumoured Barca transfer target Juan Foyth should line up at right back, and will hope to impress again for the Yellow Submarine.
It is a big match for both sides. Barcelona can extend their La Liga lead into double figures ahead of Real Madrid’s fixture against Elche midweek, while Villarreal could move up to fifth should they claim all three points.