Celta will be hoping to cause an upset to help their European aspirations, as they sit three points behind the Europa League places. Miguel Cardoso’s side are unbeaten in their last three games, so it won’t be an easy afternoon for the Catalan side.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When is it Played?||Saturday 22nd December |
|Where is it Played?||Camp Nou|
|What Time is Kick Off?||17:30 (GMT)|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 2 UK|
Rafinha and Samuel Umtiti remain long term absentees for Barca, with Rafinha suffering a season ending cruciate ligament injury and Umtiti succumbing to a knee problem.
Umtiti’s injury opens the door for fellow Frenchman Clement Lenglet to continue to deputise at centre half for the foreseeable future.
Malcolm, Sergi Samper and Sergi Roberto are all back in training following injuries, but right back Nelson Semedo is still a doubt after missing last weekend’s win over Levante.
As for Celta, they have no new injury concerns. Forward Nolito is closing in on a return to full fitness after a hamstring injury and could be involved in Saturday’s game.
|Barcelona||Ter Stegen; Roberto, Lenglet, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Dembele.|
|Celta Vigo||Blanco; Mallo, Araujo, Costas, Junca; Mendez, Jozabed, Yokuslu, Boufal; Aspas. Gomez.|
Head to Head Record
Whilst Barca usually have the edge when it comes to this fixture, Celta have shown multiple times that they are more than capable of getting a result against their more illustrious opponents.
Out of 32 total games played, Barcelona have won 14, Celta have won eight, and ten matches have ended in a draw.
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Both league fixtures between the teams last season ended in 2-2 draws, although Barca ran out 6-1 aggregate winners in the Copa del Rey.
Both sides enter the match in decent form. Celta are unbeaten in their last three league matches, winning twice, while Barcelona have only tasted defeat twice all season.
Here’s how both teams have fared in their last five matches:
|Levante 0-5 Barcelona (16/12)||Celta Vigo 0-0 Leganes (14/12)|
|Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham (11/12)||Villarreal 2-3 Celta Vigo (8/12)|
|Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona (8/12)||Real Sociedad 2-0 Celta Vigo (5/12)|
|Barcelona 4-1 Cultural Leonesa (5/12)||Celta Vigo 2-0 Huesca (1/12)|
|Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal (2/12)||Real Sociedad 2-1 Celta Vigo (26/11)|
While it won’t be an easy task for the home side, Barcelona might just have too much for their opponents.
With Messi and Ousmane Dembele showing great form of late, Valverde’s side will have too much firepower and the Celta defence will be in for a testing afternoon.