28 September 2020
Barcelona launch their 2020/21 La Liga campaign against in-form Villarreal at Camp Nou.
It will be Ronald Koeman’s competitive managerial debut at Camp Nou after leading Barcelona to three consecutive wins during the pre-season preparations. But, Barca’s last competitive outing yielded a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals. Despite enduring an underwhelming 2019/20, the Catalan giants returned more La Liga home points than any other Spanish side (50), scoring a league-high average of 2.73 goals per top-flight home fixture. Villarreal’s visit could evoke more pleasant memories, considering the ‘Blaugrana’ have won all nine of their previous league H2Hs held at this venue, six of which produced a full-time margin of over 1.5 goals. Furthermore, three of their last four such meetings have seen Barcelona score over 1.5 first-half goals.
On the other hand, the visitors are unbeaten in La Liga this season (W1, D1), with all three goals they scored across their opening two league matches arriving beyond the hour mark. But, slow-starting Villarreal have conceded the opener in both of those games, which was the case in 42.11% of their La Liga trips back in 2019/20 (8/19). Interestingly, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ were the most exciting team to watch away from home last season, where 12 (63.16%) of their 19 league trips saw over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet. But, Villarreal registered a clear majority (66.67%) of the away league goals conceded in the second half of play back last season (16/24).
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