Messi primed to run riot against Villarreal
The Yellow Submarine are far from in cruise control after just one La Liga match, and securing qualification to the group stage of the Europa League.
Barcelona are the visitors to El Madrigal, for a match that Luis Enrique’s side are odds-on at 8/13 to win. Villarreal’s price of 21/5 suggest they are overwhelming outsiders. The Catalans recorded a double over their opponents last season, a feat which the Castellon club hasn’t achieved since the 2007/08 campaign, when they last beat Barca.
However Marcellino Toral’s men put up a good fight when they hosted the then reigning La Liga champions, narrowly losing 3-2. Ikechukwu Uche opened his account for the new season in his team’s 2-0 away win over Levante, and is 5/2 to net anytime, after an impressive display. Teammate Denis Cheryshev was also on the scoresheet, and is available at 3/1 in the same market.
Set to steal the show though, is the mercurial Lionel Messi, who looks to have put the disappointment of this summers World Cup final defeat against Germany behind him. After bagging a brace at home to Elche, he is priced at 6/1 to go one better and hit a hat-trick.
The next big Barca academy talent, Munir El Haddadi netted the other, and after lighting up the Nou Camp last time out, the 18-year-old has odds of 6/4 to find the net at anytime.
Imposing centre back Mateo Musachio, who was linked with Tottenham earlier in the summer, is a nuisance from set pieces for the home side, and could cause the Barca defence problems, with his aerial presence. As such the Argentine has odds of 16/1 to score anytime.
Enrique has brought Neymar back into the squad, who may well fancy his chances for a goal, after an impressive performance at the World Cup in Brazil, and the attacker 6/4 to strike anytime.