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Villarreal aiming to capitalise on Barcelona’s troubles, says manager: “They concede more than last year”

Barcelona return to their home comforts after 38 days as they take on Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday night at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Montjuic.

The Blaugrana have not played at home since their win over UD Almeria before the Christmas break and will be eager to mark the occasion with a victory.

Standing in their way, though, will be Marcelino’s Villarreal side, who are going through a rough patch and are hoping to get their season back on track.

Villarreal to try and take advantage of Barça’s situation, says Marcelino

Ahead of the game, Villarreal manager Marcelino spoke to the press and pointed out that Barcelona have been letting in more goals than last season and that his team will try and capitalise on the fact that the Catalans are not at their best at the moment.

“They are a team that has only lost two games and they score goals. It’s true that they concede more than last year and that’s taking points away from them,” he stated.

“We want to take advantage of the fact that they may not be at their best, but I expect a good Barça.”

Marcelino admitted that Barcelona’s game against Athletic Club in midweek will have taken a physical toll on them, but remarked that the Blaugrana stars are used to playing a game every three days.

“It’s true that the match against Athletic was a great physical effort, but these players are used to playing every three days,” said Marcelino.

On if he sees any particular player from Barcelona as a major threat, the Villarreal boss said: “I’m not worried about any one individual, they’re all good. They are top level players. Their track records say so. They don’t have a high number of absentees.

“If one or the other plays in attack, they are all good. We have to do a very good job collectively and be effective in the penalty area.”

Not bothered about the refereeing controversy

Over the past week, there has been a lot of focus on referees and VAR in La Liga after Real Madrid received what seemed like favourable treatment in the game against Almeria on three occasions.

Both Xavi and Joan Laporta have called out their rivals on this while some other clubs have also spoken up on the matter. But Marcelino insisted that he trusted the match officials and does not get why the issue was blown out of proportion.

“I am very respectful of the referees. The VAR came in to provide justice and as a consultative element, not a decisive one, which is the referee. For the big teams to complain about the referees seems out of proportion to me,” he said.

On Laporta’s comments that La Liga had been ‘adulterated’ because of the refereeing problems, Marcelino added: “I think the competition is clean and I hope that the referee gets it right and that the referee is not talked about for the final result in this game or in any other.”

Source: AS

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