Celta Vigo vs Barcelona: Beware the Band of Outcasts
Celta Vigo has a unique relation with The Catalan side. They have been the sanctuary of Barcelona outcast for a while. There are at least four figures who barely have a chance to survive in the main squad such as their loanee Rafinha Alcantara, Denis Suarez, Nolito and Jeison Murillo. The list even goes on if one includes the manager Oscar Garcia who is also the former Barcelona players in the late 90s, or their manager in 2017, Juan Carlos Unzue, who was once Luis Enrique’s assistant. Therefore, Lionel Messi and Co’s visit to Estadio Balaidos shall be taken more cautiously as those outcasts can potentially become a threat and stumble them in a title race.
Celta Vigo news
Celta’s form after the lockdown has been positive. Last midweek, they managed to clinch a narrow win over Real Sociedad on the road. A single winning goal of the game was scored by Iago Aspas’ penalty. It was their second successive win so far.
El Barca was struggling to secure an important 1-0 win while hosting Athletic Bilbao. They had to wait until 71st minute for the only goal of the match by Ivan Rakitic who benefited Messi’s assist. Such result is still not enough to keep them on the top as their archrival also sealed three points.
Missing players and probable lineups
The formet Olympiakos boss seems to be in favour of the typical Catalan formation 4-3-3. However, he might tweak it to 3-4-3. Iago Aspas will be one of the main forward along with Fyodor Smolov and Santi Mina or Pione Sisto. Fortunately, only a few non key men will be ruled out for this match. They are Fran Beltran, David Junca and Sergio Alvarez.
Celta Vigo: Ruben Blanco; Nestor Araujo, Joseph Aidoo, Jeison Murillo ; Okay Yokuslu, Lucas Olaza, Kevin Vasquez, Filip Bradaric; Rafinha, Denis Suarez, Iago Aspas.
Quique Setien surely employs 4-3-3 formation as usual. However, playing Luis Suarez in the starting IX might not be a good idea as he has already lost his speed lately. Yet, he could be more useful as the one coming from the bench in the second half. Their attack will be more deadly if Ansu Fati is given a chance first since he has the pace and accuracy Blaugarana need. In the midfield, the absence of Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Ousmane Dembele and Frankie De Jong can be covered well by the available stars in the squad.
Barcelona: Marc Ter-Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Artur Melo, Arturo Vidal; Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann.
In the head-to-head encounters, Blaugrana is certainly the dominant side with three wins and two draws while Sevilla managed to win twice in the last six meetings.
After a disappointing result while visiting Sevilla should be alarming Quique Setien to prepare a back up plan if his team is unable to break a deadlock. Relying too much on Messi would be unwise as Barcelona has more talents in the squad apart from the Messiah. Not to mention the spirit of proving the Blaugrana management that they are making a mistake by such band of outcast, especially Rafinha and Denis Suarez, might give more challenge for Messi and Co. It will be a tough match for both but the visitor is likely to be able to snatch a win here.
Where to watch
International TV channels:
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