Here's everything you need to know about Koeman's official debut match as Barcelona's coach.
⚽ Team news
- Barca will miss Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who's recovering after undergoing knee surgery.
- Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite are expected to be out with minor injuries.
- Despite being first-team players, it's said that Ronald Koeman doesn't count on Rafinha, Jean-Clair Todibo and Matheus Fernandes. (h/t SportsMole)
⚽ Managers' quotes
Ronald Koeman (Barca): "Villarreal having an advantage since they have already played two games? It could be, yes. But the team is ready to come out strong tomorrow."
Unai Emery (Villarreal): "I've seen Barca's friendlies and I see Koeman has changed things on the team. Barca is a great team. I'm glad Leo Messi stayed in Barcelona and we continue to enjoy him in La Liga."
⚽ Probable line-ups
⚽ Head-to-head record
- Barcelona have won four of their last five matches against Villarreal, with the fifth game ending in a 4-4 draw.
- In the last five matches against the Yellow Submarine, the Catalans have scored 17 goals and conceded 7.
- The last time Barca lost to Villarreal was back in 2008, as they got beaten 2-1 at Camp Nou.
- In their first two matches of the 2020/21 season, our opponents drew against Huesca (1-1) and won against Eibar (2-1). (Tribuna.com)
SportsMole's Matt Law: Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal
"Villarreal have more minutes in their legs, which should help them at this stage of the season despite the quick turnaround from 2019-20. Barca's record against the Yellow Submarine is terrific, though, and we fancy Messi to be on the scoresheet in a narrow success for Koeman's side."
Standard's Matt Davies: 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."
La Liga expert's Mark Sochon: Barcelona 3-1 Villarreal
"While Leo Messi has nothing to prove to anybody, it just feels like he could produce something a bit special here with all the focus set to be on him after a rocky few weeks where he has attempted to force a move away from the club.
"Villarreal are still a work in progress under Unai Emery and their likely back four here doesn’t have a convincing feel to it at all, with one new signing and two relatively unconvincing back-up players set to start. Barcelona should pick up three points to kick off the Koeman era."