clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FC Barcelona News: 8 January 2017; Ivan Rakitic Left Out of Match Squad, 18 Travel to Villarreal

FC Barcelona v Hercules - Copa del Rey Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Match preview: Villarreal CF v FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Following the valiant but unsuccessful bid to get the year off to a winning start at San Mamés, Barça’s first Liga outing of 2017 brings a tricky trip to high flying Villarreal. The Catalans are going to need to break down the meanest defence in LaLiga to prevent any widening of the gap between themselves and leaders Real Madrid, who beat Granada 5-0 on Saturday.

FC Barcelona travel to Villarreal | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona first team squad are on their way to Villarreal. Their plane left El Prat at around 11.20am CET on Sunday morning to make what is the shortest away trip (apart from that to city rivals Espanyol of course) for a game that kicks off this evening at 8.45pm CET.

Denis Suárez in squad against former club Villarreal | FC Barcelona
All is set for FC Barcelona’s first LaLiga challenge of 2017, a game away to Villarreal on Sunday at 8.45pm CET. Luis Enrique announced his squad on the morning of the match and the big news is the return of Denis Suárez. And just two days after his 23rd birthday, this will be a special day for the midfielder as he faces the club where he spent all of the last season.

FC Barcelona unbeaten in nine years at Villarreal | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona are off to El Madrigal on Sunday, and it’s a ground where positive results have flowed in recent seasons. Indeed the team has not lost there for nine years, the last reverse away to Villarreal coming in 2007 when Frank Rijkaard was in charge of the visitors and Manuel Pellegrini was sitting on the home bench.

Luis Enrique: Both teams will want to keep possession | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona visit El Madrigal on Sunday at 8.45pm CET to take on Villarreal in the 17th La Liga fixture of the season and the blaugranas will try and get their first victory of 2017. The Asturian coach, Luis Enrique Martínez stressed: “Villarreal play well and create attacking opportunities as well as being solid defensively." Moreover, he predicted “both teams will want to keep the ball and dominate possession and this will be key.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes