Barcelona’s Season in Tatters
It might seem a tad dramatic to suggest Barcelona’s season is in tatters when they are just four points adrift of league leading Atletico Madrid in La Liga, but when the Catalan giants began the season earmarked favourably for the Treble across sportsbooks only to have it dwindle down steadily – three, two, one...none? – it would seem an appropriate suggestion after all.
are Still Technically in Play for the La Liga Title.
If recent form were any indication however – bowing out of Champions League to Atletico Madrid and defeat to Real Madrid in the ‘El Classico’ final, not to mention several bizarre league defeats – they could very well be consigned to a trophy-less season, which would be a disaster by their lofty standards. Indeed, sportsbooks are suggesting as much, matching the Catalan giants at +600 futures betting odds to win La Liga, listing them third in line to the league’s throne after Atleti at -120 and Real Madrid at +163 at Bet365.
The Copa del Rey final defeat at the weekend has brought on a fresh wave of criticism and discontent amongst Barca’s loyal fan base the world over. Pressure is mounting on coach Gerardo Martino and Company to salvage the season with just four games left in La Liga, including their upcoming date with Villarreal. Winning La Liga will be something to celebrate and it will help to add some cheer on an otherwise cheerless season. Then again that might not appease everybody. Already devoted naysayers are gleefully suggesting a domestic title is nothing more than a consolation prize, hardly to make this a good or memorable season for a club that has been widely considered the best team in the world this side of the Century.
Submarines Sunk By Inconsistency
Villarreal were in the hunt for a Champions League spot at the start of the second half of the season but a spate of disappointments and just general inconsistent form has cost them those lofty ambitions. As things currently stand, the Yellow Submarines are seventh in La Liga on the back of a 15-7-12 mark and 52 points. They are two points adrift of Real Sociedad in sixth place. Now their best hoped for finish on the season.
Villarreal are flush off a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Malaga in week 34 EPL betting, marking their second straight road defeat, sixth in their last eight away games. In fact, road form has been largely responsible for their let down as they are 7-1-9 on the season to date.
Fortunately, home form offers better reading at 8-6-3 to date. What’s more, they are undefeated at Camp El Madrigal in their last four games (three draws and a win) and they are 4-3-1 in their last eight home games in league action.
vs. Barcelona Match Betting Tips and Picks
Old habits prevail as odds makers send Barcelona into this clash as the hot favourites at -225 to win outright. No stock has been put into the fact that Barca are on the road and that their form recently has been suspect. Is this market stance warranted?
Granada, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid are just three clubs that have beaten Barcelona this month. Others that have claimed the Catalan giants as their scalp this season include Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid (this list doesn’t take into consideration the draws Barcelona were forced to take). Surely, Villarreal must fancy their chances when others have done so too.
Villarreal enter their home affair as the whopping underdogs at +550 to win outright. Good home form on the season clearly has made next to no impression on the powers that be across sportsbook platforms Nor Barcelona’s mini crisis (mentioned above). Nor for that matter Villarreal holding both Madrid clubs to draws this season at the Madrigal – speaking of which, the draw result is trading at a tempting +350 soccer odds at Bet365.
Soccer Betting Verdict: Barcelona are out of sorts of late and look to be crumbling under the burden of expectation. April has been a painful disaster with one title opportunity after another slipping through their fingers. All they have left is La Liga and they are still very much in it even though many doubters prevail. But they must beat Villarreal to take a step in the right direction. At -225 to win outright they are a good option for your soccer picks if a tad too short on price in our opinion.
The better value soccer pick however would be a bet on Villarreal to win at +550. Given the despair surrounding Barcelona one would think they are ripe for the taking right about now. Of course, for the undecided and cautious bettor, the draw at +350 is a good option as well seeing that they managed to force the draw on both Real and Atleti. Then again, the double chance on Villarreal to win or draw at +180 at Bet365 would appear to be the best of both worlds for your soccer picks.
Soccer Free Picks: Villarreal to win outright at +550