FC Barcelona (2nd, 73pts) vs Villarreal CF (7th, 56pts)
Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 38
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Pedri, Gerard Piqué, Eric García, Nico González, Sergiño Dest, Sergi Roberto (out)
Villarreal Outs & Doubts: Gerard Moreno, Alberto Moreno, Juan Foyth (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, May 22, 2022, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero
VAR: José Luis González González
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 2 (Canada), MTV (India), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), others
Following a goalless draw away to Getafe to officially clinch second place in the La Liga table, Barcelona return home for the season finale against European hopefuls Villarreal at the Greatest Stadium on Earth on Sunday Night Fútbol.
This has been quite the rollercoaster season for Barça, which started with Ronald Koeman and three of the worst months in recent club history and ended with Xavi Hernández changing the mood of the entire institution and its fans and creating a whole lot of hope for the future.
For a very brief period after the incredible win in El Clásico back in March there was real hope for a miracle La Liga title run, but a bad April with poor home losses and a shocking European exit led to a somewhat anticlimatic ending to the season. But finishing second in the league is still very much a success considering how things started, and if the summer transfer window goes according to plan we could be looking at a very exciting 2022-23 campaign.
There is still one final game to play this term, though, and it’s at home against a very good team which is still playing for something: after their incredible Champions League run all the way up to the semi-final, Unai Emery’s Villarreal need points at Camp Nou to finish seventh and clinch a spot in next season’s UEFA Conference League.
Villarreal can qualify for Europe even with a loss if Athletic Bilbao fail to beat Sevilla in a match that will take place at the same time as this one, but the Yellow Submarine don’t want to take any chances and will come to the Catalan capital only interested in a victory.
Barça get some key players back and will have a strong team to play the season finale, and even if they don’t have anything to play for in this one they will still look to give the home crowd a reason to be happy and hopeful ahead of next year. Barça and Villarreal always play good games, so this one should be a lot of fun.
Let’s dance one last time.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; F. De Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran
Villarreal (4-4-2): Rulli; Aurier, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñán; Chukwueze, Capoue, Parejo, Coquelin; Lo Celso, Dia
Unai Emery’s teams always come to Camp Nou to frustrate Barça and try to win the game on the counter. They really need a win, and Barça don’t have anything to play for but don’t want to be embarrassed at home: 2-2 draw in a fun game, and both teams will be happy by the end of the night.