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06.03.2008 14:02

The facts on Villarreal

Berta Brau

Barça’s next opponent in the league has an impressive calling card: third in the league table, fourth highest scorer, the first team to beat Barça this season and a worthy opponent in the quarterfinals of the Cup.

The 27th matchday in La Liga will bring together FC Barcelona and Villarreal for the fourth time this season – twice in the league and twice in the Cup. The two sides know each other well but in the fast-moving world of football it’s worth having a look at how Villarreal are performing right now.

Bidding for a Champions League finish

pellegrini.jpgAt the moment, Villarreal are third in the La Liga table with 47 points from 14 wins, 5 draws and 7 defeats. They are fourth in the ranking of goals scored, with 43 goals, almost half of them away from home. The away record of the team managed by Chilean coach Pellegrini is the second best in the league with 21 points from 12 matches.

In form

Villarreal owe much of their current privileged position to a recent run of good results. Since the halfway mark in the season, they have won 3, draw 3 and lost only once, away to Real Madrid (3-2). Oddly enough, their scoring rate has dropped to just 9 goals in 7 matches despite a potent striking duo of Nihat and Rossi, with 11 and 10 goals respectively.

Focussed on the league

Villarreal started the season in three competitions: the league, the UEFA Cup and the Spanish Cup. They were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Zenit Saint Petersburg and then dismissed from the Spanish Cup in the quarterfinals by Barça. Their efforts are now focussed entirely on the league where they aspire to finish in the top four and earn a place in the Champions League.
The facts on Villarreal
Match information

The match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal will kick off at 9 pm on Sunday. The referee is Mr Pérez Burrull and the match will be shown live on Canal Plus and broadcast live on Radio Barça.

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