Barcelona begin their LaLiga campaign with a home clash against Villarreal today.
Newly-appointed head coach Ronald Koeman is set for his first official match in charge of a Barcelona side heading into a brand new era.
It appeared to all as if Koeman would be without Lionel Messi for the season, but in a U-turn the Argentinian agreed to stay on for another campaign.
The Spanish giants come up against a Villarreal side who have already played two league games this season, picking up four points.
Date, time and venue
Barcelona vs Villarreal is scheduled for an 8pm BST kick-off.
This match will be played behind closed doors at Camp Nou with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
How to watch
TV channel: UK viewers will be able to watch the match on Premier Sports, in conjunction with LaLigaTV, which holds the rights to show Spanish football across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Viewers with a Sky subscription can sign up to watch LaLigaTV for free until October 15, while those who don't have the same time to sign up and stream matches on Premier Player.
Last year's runners-up Barcelona will be without Marc-Andre ter Stegen until late October at the earliest, with Neto set to deputise between the sticks.
Koeman will also have Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite unavailable due to injury, while Luis Suarez and Nelson Semedo have, of course, just completed moves to Atletico Madrid and Wolves respectively.
The Dutchman will have Messi to rely on, however, while Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, Antoinne Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong could all start.
With de Jong most likely to start next to Sergio Busquets in midfield, new signing Miralem Pjanic could start on the bench.
Prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal
Though Barcelona have endured a turbulent summer after a difficult end to last season, it's difficult to look past a home win.
Indeed, there may still be unrest within the squad, with Messi publicly criticising the club for "throwing" Luis Suarez out and into the hands of rivals Atletico Madrid.
However, with Messi still in the team - and Koeman looking for his first Barca win - I'm expecting a narrow home win.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
This will be the 32nd meeting between these two sides, with Barcelona unsurprisingly coming in with the superior record.
Barcelona have won on 21 occasions, while Betis have come away with three wins, alongside seven draws.
The last time the two clubs met was back in July earlier this year, when visitors Barcelona strolled to a 4-1 win.
Betting odds and tips
- Barca to win: 4/7
- Villarreal to win: 11/2
- Draw: 7/2
Odds courtesy of Betfair Exchange. Click here to find out more.
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