Pires out to stop Barca clean sweep

Pep Guardiola's side have swept all before them winning 12 of their last 13 matches to go eight points clear at the top of the standings, and fourth-placed Villarreal have the last chance to trip them up before the winter break.

Barca's run has seen them demolish second-placed Valencia 4-0, third-placed Sevilla 3-0, and fifth-placed Atletico Madrid 6-1. Last weekend, champions Real Madrid succumbed 2-0 to slip down to sixth.

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