Luis Enrique's side are currently on top of the Primera Division thanks to their superior head-to-head record in the games against Real Madrid this term, but Los Blancos (also on 81 points) still have a game in hand.
The Catalans can move provisionally three points ahead of Real on Saturday with a win against Villarreal, with Zinedine Zidane's side in action straight afterwards away to Granada.
Aleix Vidal is sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a horrific ankle injury at Alaves in February, while Rafinha is also out after limping off in the game at Granada last month.
Andres Iniesta has shaken off a knock that saw him miss the Espanyol game last weekend and is available to start versus Villarreal.
Neymar returned from a three-match ban to feature in the 3-0 win against Espanyol last Saturday and there are no Barca players suspended for the game against Villarreal.
However, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba are all just one booking away from a ban.
BARCELONA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is set to field a strong side for the visit of Villarreal, one of the most difficult fixtures left for the Catalan club in La Liga.
Barca are set to start with 4-3-3 for the Camp Nou clash, with Iniesta fit to play after shaking off a knock that saw him miss the Catalan derby against Espanyol last weekend.
VILLARREAL TEAM NEWS
The Yellow Submarine have won their last three games in the Primera Division and beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 away from home in their last away match.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Barcelona have not lost against Villarreal in their last 15 meetings in La Liga (won 10, drawn five), losing to them for the last time in March 2008 (1-2 at Camp Nou).
The Blaugrana have won their last 10 Liga games at home, their best run under Luis Enrique.
Villarreal have won their last three league games and will set their best run under Fran Escriba if they win this one.
Barcelona’s MSN have scored 98 goals in all competitions this season (Lionel Messi 49, Luis Suarez 34 and Neymar 15).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
Barcelona versus Villarreal kicks off at 18:30 CEST on Saturday and will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports 5 at 17:30 GMT.