Free tips La Liga Tips: Villarreal v Barcelona prediction (7.45pm, Sunday)

VILLARREAL VS BARCELONA PREDICTIONS, BETTING TIPS AND MATCH PREVIEWS

Sunday 8th January 19:45, El Madrigal. Live on Sky Sports 2


VILLARREAL VS BARCELONA PREDICTIONS


ASIAN HANDICAP PREDICTION:

Villarreal +1 at 21/20 at bet365


MATCH RESULT PREDICTION

Draw at 7/2 with BetVictor


REASON FOR VILLARREAL VS BARCELONA BETTING TIPS

Real Madrid were very much in the driving seat in La Liga at the winter break and, with Los Blancos hosting lowly Granada on Saturday afternoon, the chances are that Barcelona will be travelling to El Madrigal on Sunday with a six-point gap to make up.

A trip to 4th placed Villarreal is a testing return to league action for Barca. Other than a surprise 2-0 defeat to Deportivo Alaves, Villarreal are unbeaten at El Madrigal in La Liga this season and have conceded just five goals in eight matches on home turf.

In total, Villarreal have conceded just 11 goals in 16 matches this season, giving them the best defensive record in La Liga at the winter break. Of course, defensive records can be fairly meaningless if Barca’s ‘MSN’ are on their game.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have a dozen goals apiece at present, making them the joint leading goalscorers in La Liga going into the New Year. Neymar has just four goals to date.

In truth, the usual deluge of goals from the big hitters in Spanish football has yet to materialize this season and the possibility of anyone matching Suarez’s 40 goals last season looks remote. If backing an Anytime Goalscorer, the value may lie outside the usual suspects. Roberto Soriano pops up with a few goals for Villarreal and can be backed at 6/1 with Betfred. For Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic is a 4/1 shot, also with Betfred.

Barcelona are a best price of 8/15 with Sportingbet to win this match, which really isn’t a price you should be backing here. The draw at 7/2 with BetVictor is far more appealing and offers far greater value.

Backing Villarreal +1 on the Asian Handicap has definite appeal, ensuring a winning bet in the event of a draw or Villarreal win, but also getting your stake refunded were Barcelona to win by any one-goal margin.

You are usually assured of goals in a Barcelona match and even though Villarreal are a strong defensive unit, this looks a game where both teams should get on the scoresheet, particularly with Barca’s often leaky defence. The BTTS at 3/4 with bet365 is perhaps a tad short, but it could still be a winning bet.

Villarreal have scored 18 of their 25 La Liga goals in the 1st half this season, whilst 25 of Barcelona’s 41 goals have come after the interval. This might be a game to go for a Half-time/Full-time Double Result, with Villarreal/ Draw priced at a very attractive 19/1 with BetVictor.

With regards to a Villarreal v Barcelona Correct Score betting prediction, 1-1 at 17/2 with 888sport looks capable of giving you a run for your money. For the more adventurous, 2-2 can be backed at 17/1 with BetVictor.


VILLARREAL VS BARCELONA STATS

62% of Villarreal’s home matches have featured Over 2.5 Goals this season, whilst 75% of Barcelona’s away games have also gone Over 2.5 Goals.

Both Teams To Score (BTTS) has occurred in 38% of Villarreal’s matches at El Madrigal this season and in 62% of Barcelona’s away games.


VILLARREAL TEAM NEWS

Roberto Soldado is out for another couple of months with a cruciate ligament injury and there are doubts to varying degrees over Bruno Soriano, Cedric Bakambu, Denis Cheryshev and Bojan Jokic.


BARCELONA TEAM NEWS

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is still out for another week or so, but defender Jérémy Mathieu is back in training.


Compare betting odds on Villarreal v Barcelona


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