The following season of the Champions League is set to be the most intriguing in years with Barcelona and Villarreal being locked in a fierce battle for second place. Last season was a thrilling affair, with Barcelona coming from behind and winning the first three matches. This was their first-ever appearance in the Champions League and although they impressed many with their performances, the defeat by PSV Eindhoven in the semis was a harsh lesson.
PSV had made a huge impact on proceedings and this showed in their performance, not least in the way they coped with the pressure of such an important tie. This season looks to be shaping up to be a different affair, with Barcelona needing a major lift in confidence after a poor season last time out and Villarreal also proving a challenge. With the draw of both these sides being determined by the strength of their respective ties, this could be the season that sees the two teams in what could be the competition for the top spot.
Champions League 2021-22
First off, Barcelona needs to win their away matches, particularly the clash against Villarreal, who have managed just one win in their last five games. They are also without any representative players from this season, with Didier Drogba, Kazaiahoue, and Gael Garcos now leading the line for the club as they seek to retain the title.
Without a win in their final four games, Villarreal will be eliminated from the competition, while third-placed Barcelona will gain a much-needed away point. This is vital, given that Villarreal has only picked up two points from their last seven games, while Barcelona has picked up ten from theirs.
Champions League: Best bets for Barcelona
Second, Barca needs to win the remaining games against Villarreal, Watford, Arsenal, Manchester United, PSV Eindhoven, and Lens. Although beating PSV and Arsenal would give them the confidence needed to secure the top spot, their form against the other sides has been far from adequate, scoring just twice in their last six games.
Meanwhile, Manchester United has been impressive away in league action, winning three and drawing one, though Lens has provided some quality in their own win over FAC in Lens. These are the crucial home and away fixtures for Barcelona this season, and all of these must be won by a strong margin if they are to have any chance of finishing above Villarreal.