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29.12.2009 11:55

Barca to face in-form Villarreal

Edgar Fornós

Alarm bells were ringing at Villarreal after their worst start to the season in La Primera since 2000 saw them bottom in October, but Ernest Valverde has turned the team round and they come to the Nou Camp on a good run of form.

Barca will face a Villarreal team on Saturday who are playing their best football of the season after a disastrous start to the campaign in which they didn’t win a game until the eighth week of the competition. Since then, Valverde’s team have got back into the winning ways and have fought their way up the table with a series of impressive performances.

Terrible start

_Z8Y0693.jpgVillarreal began the season with a 1-1 draw in Pamplona against Osasuna – not a bad result at all and certainly no indication of the dramatic run of defeats ahead which saw them take just two more points from the next six games, including three home defeats on the run, something that had never happened to them before.

Turning point

Following their defeat in Jerez, it was clear that Villarreal had touched bottom and in their next game they got their first win of the season, beating Malaga 2-1 thanks to goals from Nilmar and Capdevila. That win proved to be a turning point in the season for Valverde’s men, who’ve chalked up six wins in their last eight games, including victories in their last five games at the Madrigal and their first away win of the season, 1-2 at Atletico Madrid.
Barca to face in-form Villarreal
Climb up the table
In a month and a half, Villarreal have gone from bottom of the league after their defeat to Jerez, to their current ninth place and they are now closer to the UEFA spots than to the relegation zone.

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