10/20/22, 3:56 AM
Barcelona will be thinking about the weekend's humiliating El Clasico defeat when they host Villarreal at Camp Nou on Thursday.
The last game of the season saw the Catalans lose to their bitter rivals Real Madrid 3-1 in league. Since a first-day draw with Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona had been practically unbeatable in LaLiga, winning seven straight matches by an aggregate score of 20-1.
Villarreal defeated Osasuna 2-0 in their last match, a much-needed victory. Unai Emery's team was faltering after a strong start to the season. They were knocked out of the European places after losing to Real Sociedad and Real Betis, as well as drawing with Cadiz and Getafe.
Dropped points are simply not an option for Barcelona in the weeks following their Clasico loss as they attempt to close the gap on Real Madrid. Villarreal will make things difficult for the home team, but their superior firepower should allow them to win by a narrow margin.
Pick: Barcelona -1