Barcelona v Villarreal: 3 things that will shape the result

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Barcelona go into the game against Villarreal on Sunday on the back of another epic win over Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

If anyone continued to doubt the credentials of the Blaugrana, then the performance at the Vicente Calderon should finally have convinced the doom-mongers that Luis Enrique and co mean business.

The Yellow Submarine will present just as difficult an opponent and on the back of a 16-game unbeaten run themselves, will ensure Barca face another rigorous examination.

Let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome to this game...


It might surprise many to note that despite Villarreal's continued excellence in the top flight, the last time that the visitors walked away with three points from this fixture, home or away, was back in 2008.

It's not for the want of trying certainly. Marcelino's side can boast some magnificent exponents throughout the team and in brothers Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos, Villarreal have two ex-Blaugrana going back to where it all began for them.

With a potential Copa del Rey semi final immediately following this game, the visitors will be keen to make a statement of intent.

Messi, Neymar, Suarez

Is there a better trio in world football at present?

Even Madrid's own attacking triumvirate can't hold a candle to Barca's front three at the moment.

Neymar once again showed the progress he has made in 12 months producing a man-of-the-match performance against a tough Atletico Madrid side.

Luis Suarez might not be amongst the goals, but there is no doubting his commitment to the cause and the Uruguayan has been working his socks off for the good of the team.

Lionel Messi continues to astound. 8 goals and 5 assists already in 2015 is way better than any other player in the top 5 European leagues.

On current form, they will take some stopping.

Denis Cheryshev on fire

Real Madrid could have a say in the title race without kicking a ball in anger.

Denis Cheryshev is on loan at El Madrigal from Real's Castilla side and so good has his form been that Carlo Ancelotti has already indicated that he will recall him at the end of his season-long loan.

The young Russian's form has been nothing short of sensational and if Dani Alves isn't on his guard then Cheryshev will get in behind at every opportunity.

Power, pace and an eye for goal mark the player out as the one to watch. Will he give his parent club a helping hand?

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Lionel Messi
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