Three things that will decide Villarreal v Barcelona

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Football News

Barcelona head to El Madrigal looking to make it to yet another Copa del Rey final.

Winners of the competition a record 26 times already, Barca are in the box seat and will want to maintain their proud record in the competition.

Villarreal are in their first ever semi-final of the competition, so the need for their own path to be successful is acknowledged.

Marcelino showed everyone with a fabulous draw at the Santiago Bernabeu this past weekend that they are no ones whipping boys, so the Catalans need to pay appropriate respect to the hosts.

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

Advantage Barca

It's stating the obvious but a two-goal advantage is a very healthy position for the Blaugrana to approach this one.

It forces the Yellow Submarine to come out and attack from the off, and with the Catalans playing on the counter attack more than ever this season, it could play right into their hands.

With an away goal to their name, Marcelino's charges may feel that the tie is there for the taking. A 2-0 home win takes them through.

However, an away goal for the Catalans sees the hosts requiring three just to take the tie to extra time, four to win outright before penalties are taken into account.

You can count the fingers on one hand the amount of times Barca have let in four over the last decade.

Defences to the fore

Barca in particular are noted for their attacking prowess, but Villarreal haven't been too shabby in this regard.

Yet either defence may come out on top to decide the outcome of this tie.

With only five goals conceded each, both teams have the joint best defensive record in the competition.

If the hosts can shore up the gaps which they failed to do in the first leg, then they have half a chance.

Atletico Madrid scored twice against Barca in an earlier round, so perhaps Marcelino will study that 90 minutes for the key to the lock.

Head to head

Of course records are made to be broken, but Villarreal's record against the Catalans is particularly poor.

In one week's time it will be seven years since the team from El Madrigal last recorded a victory over the Blaugrana.

A record stretching back over 13 fixtures in all competitions.

A mountain to climb, but even Everest was conquered.

Will Villarreal defeat Barcelona this evening? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

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