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Messi in action earlier in the season at El Mardrigal. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Villarreal visit Camp Nou this Sunday with some impressive numbers coming into such a big game. The blaugranes’ rivals have had an excellent first half to the league campaign and have only lost once away from home so far this season. That defeat came at the start of November against Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán when two late goals gave the home side a come from behind 2-1 victory.

Since that moment the team affectionately known as the Yellow Submarine due to their home kit are unbeaten away from their stadium of El Madrigal and in total they have won four times and drawn five on the road as well as the defeat against Unai Emery’s men. Marcelino García Toral’s team have claimed victory as such tough away grounds as the Vicente Calderón where they beat Atlético by one goal to nil.

Second best defensive record away

One of the keys to Villarreal’s form away from home has been their defensive performances. In ten matches on the road they have conceded just eight goals and they have kept a clean sheet on no less than four occasions. That strength means they have the second best defensive record away from home in the league, behind the blaugranes, who have just conceded five times on their travels.

Furthermore, Villarreal are unbeaten in all competitions in their last 18 matches. Their last defeat came in the Europa League when they lost 3-2 away against FC Zurich in the fourth game of the competition’s group stage.

Since that day they have recorded 13 winsand five draws, allowing them to rise to sixth place in the league, move into the last 32 in Europe and reach the semi-finals of the Europa League where they will face Barça. Sunday’s clash with the blaugranes comes at a perfect time for both sides with FC Barcelona also currently in excellent form. The confrontation at Camp Nou on Sunday is not one to be missed.

Three straight wins

Despite Villarreal's excellent results this season  Barça have a good recent record against the Yellow Submarine at Camp Nou. The blaugranes have not lost in the fixture since the season 2007/08 and have won the last three league meetings between the sides at home.

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