Celta Vigo vs. FC Barcelona
After a crucial 1-0 victory at Dynamo Kyiv in the middle of the week, which gave Barca a very good chance of advancing to the round of 16 of the Champions League, attention now returns to the league and an early Saturday away game for Celta Vigo (4:15 p.m. CET).
How does it hold
After consecutive defeats at real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano, BarÃ§a start this weekend in ninth place, nine points behind the leader Real Sociedad. Tuesday’s victory in Ukraine was the first on the road this season, but with two draws and two losses, Barca are still on the hunt for their first away win in the domestic league.
Interim Coach Sergi Barjuan barely had time to prepare for his debut league game in charge, but now he’s been with the players for over a week, and the result in Kiev has been a much needed morale boost.
And their hosts today are a team that hasn’t had a great start this season. Celta are 3-2-7 and currently lie 15e in the table. But the matches between Barca and Galicians have produced all kinds of results in recent years. The last fourteen meetings have seen six wins for Barca, five for Celta and three draws.
So, Celta have a habit of creating surprises in this game, and given their current position, the Blaugranas can’t afford to see it happen again.
Last five matches
November 2 (UCL) Dynamo Kiev 0-1 BarÃ§a
October 28 (LIGA) Rayo Vallecano 1-0 BarÃ§a
25 October (LIGA) BarÃ§a 1-2 real Madrid
October 20 (UCL) BarÃ§a 1-0 Dynamo Kiev 0
October 17 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 3-1 Valencia
November 1 (LIGA) Rayo Vallecano 0-0 Celta
October 28 (LIGA) Celta 0-2 Real Sociedad
October 25 (LIGA) Getafe 0-3 Celta
October 17 (LIGA) Celta 0-1 Seville
October 3 (LIGA) Elche 1-0 Celtic
After his return from injury against Dynamo, Ousmane Dembele injured his hamstring in training on Wednesday and is again unavailable. SergiÃ±o Dest also came out with back pain, and reserve keeper Neto has a fever. This only adds to the difficulties of a team that is also missing GÃ©rard PiquÃ©, Sergio AgÃ¼ero, Martin Braithwaite, Pedri and Sergi Roberto.
BarÃ§a B players Ez Abde and goalkeeper Lazar Carevic were recruited into the team:
The Celta also lacks key players. Their top scorer last season, Santi Mina, is injured, and one of their best playmakers, Brais MÃ©ndez, is suspended.
Did you know?
Iago Aspas are used to scoring against BarÃ§a. He has seven in total, including six against Ter Stegen, which is the highest for anyone against the German stopper in La Liga. The now retired Aritz Aduriz of the Athletic Club has also beaten Ter Stegen six times.
Sergi Barjuan has already faced Celta, in 2015, when he was in charge of Almeria. This match ended 2-2, with the Galician goals scored by Nolito and Santi Mina.
BalaÃ¯dos is the field that has produced Barca’s fewest wins since the 2015/16 season, just the 3-0 victory last year after five years of failure to come back with all three points.
Barca hope to avoid losing three away league games in a row for the first time since 2002.
A curious fact – Celta are the only La Liga side that haven’t led in just one home game this season, and Barca are the only side that have never led away.
Last five meetings
05/16/21 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 1-2 Celta
10/01/20 (LIGA) Celta 0-3 BarÃ§a
06/27/20 (LIGA) Celta 2-2 BarÃ§a
09/11/19 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 4-1 Celtic
05/04/19 (LIGA) Celta 2-0 BarÃ§a
âThe players are done talking on the pitch. But tomorrow we are playing on very difficult groundâ¦ If we win tomorrow the players will be in better shape for future challenges. There were players laughing in training today. This is what we call group spirit.
âThey must be valiant as they were in Kiev. They will have to run a lot in this game and this is a field where we have had problems over the years. They have a lot of good midfielders and it will be a very different game from Kiev. We have to force them to make mistakes.
âWe were satisfied with Dembele after Kiev, but after a day of rest, he was injured again. These things are a part of a player’s life. If he hadn’t been hurt, no one would have mentioned it.