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Barcelona vs. Villarreal: GameThread

Villarreal visits FC Barcelona in jornada 16 of Spain's La Liga. Both sides have struggled recently as compared to their blistering early-season pace, but expect an entertaining, vibrant encounter at Camp Nou.

This followed our last visit to Barcelona.
This followed our last visit to Barcelona.
Moi G. & Pablo I.

Little to be said about this one. Low expectations without the newly re-signed Rubén Cani and Bruno Soriano, but Giovani dos Santos should be healthy. How will Gio be received in his former home, particularly after his comments earlier this year? Won't be quite like last season at the Mini Estadi, but expect a decent contingent of fans in yellow.

My expected Villarreal XI (4-2-2-1-1): Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, Gabriel, Costa; Pina, Manu; Hernán, Aquino; Gio; Uche.

My expected Villarreal bench: Juan Carlos; Dorado, Jokic; Edu Ramos (congratulations!), Moi; Jony, Perbet.

A bit of a makeshift lineup without a natural left winger, so maybe Jony Pereira will start in place of Hernán Pérez or Javier Aquino. But the pace of the Paraguayan and Mexican internationals, respectively, should trouble the somewhat shaky blaugrana defense, and Marcelino García Toral knows Villarreal will have to capitalize on very limited spells of possession.

I do not expect a bushel of goals without the likes of Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, in addition to Bruno and Cani, but both teams should stick to their philosophies. One to enjoy after a year in the inferno.

The match begins at 2 pm Eastern Time and airs on BeINSport in the United States. No issues with streams today. Endavant Villarreal!