Preview: Celta Vigo v FC Barcelona

After a tough match in the UEFA Champions League, FC Barcelona travel to Galicia for a challenging match against Celta Vigo. Celta had a midweek match on Thursday: a Europa League match against Panathinaikos they won 2-0. The match will kickoff Sunday night at 8.45pm CET at Celta Vigo’s stadium, Balaídos.

In the last five matches between the teams, Barça has managed to win three, while Celta Vigo has two wins. You might remember their last meeting at Camp Nou, a 6-1 win for Barça, for the famous Lionel Messi penalty-assist for Luis Suárez, which was actually meant for Neymar. Or you might remember one of the bigger Barça-blowouts in the last decade, with the blaugrana losing 4-1 in the last meeting at Balaídos.

Recent form

Barcelona last match:

Starting XI: ter Stegen – Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba – Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic (Turan, 60′)  – Paco (Rafinha, 54′), Suárez, Neymar

Result: 2-1 win, goals by Turan (65′) and Piqué (74′)

Barcelona last 5 matches: W-W-D-W-W

Celta Vigo last match:

Starting XI: Alvarez – Jonny, Fontas, Cabral, Mallo – Hernandez, Diaz, Rossi (Aspas, 79′) – Naranjo (Sisto, 60′), Guidetti, Sene (Wass, 71′)

Result: 2-0 win, goals by Guidetti (84′) and Wass (89′)

Celta Vigo last 5 matches: W-W-W-D-D

Team news

Barça is still missing Messi due to a hamstring injury, while Samuel Umtiti is still not cleared to play. Celta Vigo is missing Beauvue (achilles), Orellana (muscle), Néstor Diáz and Carles Planas to injuries. None of the teams are facing any suspensions.

Expect Celta to start with a different lineup than the last match, at least the three substitutes, Wass, Sisto and Aspas, as changes. Don’t be expecting many changes for Barcelona, as it’s never easy playing at Balaídos. Though Arda Turan or Rafinha could start instead of Paco Alcacer on the right side.

Match Prediction

A tough 2-1 victory for Barcelona.

You Might Also Like

  • Rinus VR

    This is just too painfull to watch….I just don’t understand the rotation against this team…if we lose we’ll be i fourth place…I hope they can turn it around but not like the way they are playing now….

    • Travis Morphy

      Awful Awful decision again by LE iniesta was suppose to be in that line up i mean no messi and u still put iniesta on the bench raki or adre is not going to create you chance stupid coach these is common maths

      • Kneowell Anyanwu

        I remember he did that common maths last season against celta, we got trashed by 4-0. I guess your common maths isn’t common afterall

  • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

    HAHAHAHAHA this is really ridiculous. I swear I laughed at the third goal. Can’t believe barca can be this lousy without Messi. It’s clear now that LE is a mediocre coach and deserves very little credit for the teams success in the past two years, I mean REALLY.

    • Pius Kamau

      I painfully AGREE with you man!!!

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      Yeah after 7 trophies it’s clear he’s mediocre right?Even though he came after a trophyless season with 8 new signings? Great! I must say though that I like this class of “mediocre coach” that win trophies. Atleast he’s not a diego simeone or a Jose mourinho over the past 2 seasons. Neither is he a tata martino in terms of results. In light of these I can say mediocre is the new sexy. Do you remember this same game last year? When we were trashed 4-0? You still don’t believe Messi and the full first 11 featured in that too? Lmao! Be realistic guys, even with the best player in the world, we are certain to have some bad nights over the course of the league, especially with the incorporation of new guys, it’s normal and the league isn’t lost in match day 7

      • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

        Erm…you should open your eyes dude, seriously.
        Btw, I don’t hate Lucho, but I do despise whoever decided to hire him over other more respectable coaches. They are truly brainless (we had the option of signing KLOPP!!!). If barca should not care about our identity like you said before, why hire an ex-player who has a bad track record? Do you have the brain cells to see the logic? What are the reasons that they chose Enrique over Klopp??????

        • Pius Kamau

          Right now I think Marcelinho, Tuchel, Sampaoli can do a much better work with Barca.

          • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

            Yeah, it’s not hard to find a better coach than lucho really. He is a grade c coach, in my opinion. There are more than a dozen coaches out there that are better than him.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Since when did barca start employing grade A coaches with proven credentials, since rijkaard?unproven coaches that came from our ranks have given us more success than any group of hired mercenary have given any club in recent times

          • Pius Kamau

            Point that you’re missing is we need a coach/tactician who gives emphasis on AESTHETICS/QUALITY OF FOOTBALL which is what we’re known for and a good tactician at that.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            So you won 7 trophies without playing quality football? Lmao! Unbelievable! Bad must be the new sexy

        • Kneowell Anyanwu

          Lol, if the board followed your logic even pep guardiola wouldn’t have been hired cos he had no credentials at the time. The reason the board chose pep over other high profile coaches is the same reason they chose lucho over kloop, and result wise no one can argue with the board. We have all also seen from recent times that hiring mercenary coaches doesn’t guarantee the kind of success we have come to enjoy under pep and lucho (with xavi to follow suit) acid test? Madrid, chelsea et al. This is how much logic my brain cells can understand

          • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

            You’re missing the point…Let me put it this way: a major reason Laporta chose Pep is because of his clear total football philosophy. Can you tell me what are the reasons Barca chose Lucho???

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            You don’t need to look too far for the answer to that, rijkaard, pep and lucho were all proteges to the father of total football: Cryff. Do the maths… they figured since the first two succeded, they could as well bet on the later to succeed and suceeding he is. To take it further, lets assume lucho decides to resign today, the club would prefer to hire a xavi with zero coaching experience to a kloop or an ancelotti with laurels to show, because xavi is a believer of the total football philosophy. Lucho is a strong believer too, the only difference between pep and lucho’s barca is pep had the midfielders to execute the philosophy while lucho moved the execution of his ideas further up the pitch to the attackers. The tradition was never lost

          • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

            If you don’t turn on blind eyes you should see that lucho’s barca has completely lost the Barca identity.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            If I agree with you then I can infere that Lucho has won trophies playing football his own style, then you should give him full credit for his achievementsin the past 2 seasons

          • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

            Lol you’re good at deflecting the points aren’t you. I say if we had a top coach we would have won the treble year in year out, with the best player ever and other top players like Suarez Neymar iniesta alves Alba and busquets. But one thing you have to give lucho credit for is that he is good at buying the right players.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            The best coach doesn’t guarantee seasonal treble, for instance we had pep + messi, villa, busquet, Pedro, xavi, iniesta… these guys were pretty much everything then… Lucho picks up good guys, and his buys are helping the club. Either ways mate, you just can’t take it away from Lucho, he’s doing a decent job, maybe not excellent, but decent enough to still make rivals quiver at the sound of our name

          • Jerapat Dusdeesurapoj

            Like I said, if you don’t turn on the blind eyes you’ll see how incompetent lucho is. Just LOOK at how we play nowadays. There’s no need to argue with you anymore.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            If your definition of incompetenceis 7 trophies in 2 seasons with 38 games unbeaten run, and a greater win ratio than all our managers in the history of the club? Then hell yeah he’s incompetent. Keep turning a blind eye to the results before you. No more arguments

          • Pius Kamau

            Not really..Mathieu, Gomez, Paco Alcacer….etc.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            So Gomez and Paco are already failures in your books? Hilarious

          • Pius Kamau

            Man I’m with you on this one!

  • Rinus VR

    God damn you Ter Stegen….that’s the second goal this evening that’s completely your fault! I want Bravo back

  • Eivind Niclasen

    Ter Stegen is turning into Valdés, Alba is turning into Adriano, Piqué is turning into Suarez and Suarez is turning into Saviola. Looks like Luis Enrique has found his starting XI for our next visit to the Anoeta. Even Jordi Roura looked marginally less clueless when compared to the imbecile currently in charge of our boys.

    • Travis Morphy

      Ter Stegen has to try and stop trying proofing him self to us why we had to sell bravo i mean is it important to make that long pass? why not keep it just simple it has happen 2, 3, games now and if he keeps that attitude it will happen most often he put unnecessary pressure on him self for these so sweeper role just keep it simple we could have won these game easy but yes another chance is gone i guess classico a must win game home and away and the game at Calderon those are the 3 games that will decide the league title for sure

      • Eivind Niclasen

        You forgot the next Anoeta game. That´s also 3 points lost. Luis Enrique is turning into whoever will eventually replace Klopp at Liverpool. He is an expert at losing against minnows. He is turning into our worst enemy. Hopefully he will take Mathieu, Rafinha, Busquets, ter Stegen and Mascherano with him when they fire him at the end of what right now is looking like a very bleak season ahead. Ter Stegen´s reputation as an expert sweeper keeper has gone to his head; instead of being sensible, he instead tries to impress by making failed impersonations of Neuer. With any luck, Cillesen is watching intently and planning on overtaking that overrated second choice for Germany.

        • Pius Kamau

          I’d keep Busquets mate, he just needs to recharge his batteries, with Barca fast becoming short of intelligent players in midfield losing Busi would be the last thing we need.

    • Pius Kamau

      Man I think Barca should just terminate Lucho’s contract, we need better, we deserve better!!!

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      The imbecile that led same boys to 7 trophies in 2 seasons? What an imbecile that must be

  • Pius Kamau

    Okay points of note;
    – Lucho is a horrible tactician, I try to defend him but I just can’t anymore!!
    – Lucho has completely annihilated our intricate passing and positional play, can’t recall how many times we tried to sprint forward aimlessly with long box to box balls only to end up in a dead wall of Celta players, we now look very much like the BPL teams we so despise.
    – Lucho decides to experiment and he benches key players for such a difficult game, the other day he used Gomez as a freaggin holding midfielder….like wtf??
    – Speaking of Gomez why did we buy him?, what does he add to Barca’s midfield?
    Gomez isn’t the player we needed, we needed someone who can control and dictate our midfield, much like what Iniesta does, we needed a younger midfield maestro to rotate with the aging Iniesta but all we got are instinctive box to box midfielders that run like headless chickens, no wonder our midfield was (and has been) a total mess!!
    – Barca should just terminate Lucho’s contract because he’s regressed our overall football quality, all he did was bring back some intensity, physical fitness regimes and add a counter attacking element to our game, nothing much really.
    – I’m fast losing patience with Ter-Stegen.
    – Mathieu shouldn’t ever put on a Barca jersey, unless he’s at home.
    – We look horrible nowadays, with the way we played yesterday, even Tata Martino’s Barca was better to watch. HORRIBLE DISPLAY!!!

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      All these tantrums cos we lost a game in match day 7? Interesting

      • Pius Kamau

        No Kneowell, to me it ain’t about losing, but how horrible our play is nowadays…man I’ve been defending Lucho for a long time but I just can’t.
        Nowadays we hardly play the midfield triangular passes anymore, our passing and positional play (or build up play) is atrocious, give Enrique his way and Barca lose their identity.

        • Kneowell Anyanwu

          You see that’s the problem, you still expect round pegs to fit in square holes, xavi is no more, iniesta has no partner in that, messi is injured, the coach has no interest in endless midfield triangulations, he’s a more direct person, the magic has left the midfield with the departure of xavi, the magic is now upfront with MSN, the game plan now is for the midfield to open spaces for the forwards and get to them as soon as possible. you keep the facade you call identity we clearly got stuck up with in your head, yet you want a plan B and C, how do you expect to have alternatives if you ain’t willing to evolve, can your intricate midfield passes beat a club like atletico? Lucho has his way already and is doing what he does best. Identity only makes you predictable, and once you are competition kicks you out of the market, lucho promised unpredictability from day one and that’s what we have seen except at certain nights when one or two persons don’t “show up” at work like against celta then we have a problem. Just imagine that busquet and mats didn’t give away 3 cheap goals, we could have won celta. A few person’s mistakes cost us, and clearly not the coaches tactics. With the addition of 6 new players and departure of several others, it’s as good as trying to build a squad, experimentations are a constant in this early stages just like his first season when he added 8 new members. It may cost some points and same games and some bad plays (deja vu with 2014 season) but also like in that season, we hope it works out the same way. With the hunger in this team, I think it would work out. So chill, the best of this team is yet to come

          • Pius Kamau

            You see that’s the problem, letting MSN do all the creating and scoring, our midfield doesn’t get involved as it should be mainly because we have made no efforts to get creative intelligent midfielders.
            Not having Xavi is no excuse man, Lucho would’ve gone in the market for a player who has such a profile, a Veratti, Modric type of player who can dictate proceedings in midfield, I’m not saying these ones because most likely they were not for sale but he should’ve scouted and thoroughly searched for a player with such attributes, I’m sure the market have some few decent ones.
            Alba needs to be benched for Digne.
            Mathieu needs to go asap and the tolerance to Stegen’s ever recurrent blunders and epic farts needs to be lowered.
            Lucho has shown NO intention of improving the technical and creative aspects of our game, he’s more interested in this boring pragmatism, one of the hallmarks of a good coach is to improve the quality of football displayed by a team, at least that’s what I believe. This team has massively regressed and you cannot argue with what I’m seeing with my naked eyes.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            There would be no treble without Ivan rakitic who recieved clear instructions to baby sit Alves, that was tactical, creative and effective. Rakitic was brought in by Lucho, and so was Luis Suarez who was also instrumental to the treble and the double. Bringing messi back to the flank, then deeper was a tactical shift that allowed us build attack from the right. And progress to a waiting neymar or alba on the left. I was waiting for you to name me just one midfielder that dictates the game and tempo like xavi did cos not even Modric or veratti comes close to xavi. Let’s face it, xavi is a once in a lifetime player who’s shoe is hard to fil. Talk of 40 games unbeaten? Actually we had more than our first 11 in action rafinha, sergi roberto, Munir, matteu, ter stegen, barta, xavi, and even gambau…these are 9 other players outside our first 11 who had starting berths during this period while adriano always came from the bench. That’s to disprove your claim that only the first 11 were instrumental to the unbeaten run success. No matter who played then, they were effective enough to get the job done. If they made it so easy it looked like they ran on autopilot, that would be due to the fact that Lucho designed the pilot program in the first half of his first season. All players can’t be at the same level, there has never been a club that achieved that yet, the regular starters are starters for a reason. While one game is enough for you to conclude lucho is no barca type coach? 7 trophies in 2 seasons make it hard for some of us to agree. No one can argue with the results. No one! With all due respect to Pep, he would have been nothing special without messi, xavi and iniesta, he achieved the unprecedented with these guys, he’s only fortunate he came first. Imagine a scenario where Lucho appeared first before pep with such a result, we would all be hailing Lucho instead. If you read the autobiography of pep by Guilermo ballague, you will find that there was a time when pep doubted his own philosophy after the first two games with no win, but he got encouraged by some senior players (the usual culprits, xavi and iniesta) who believed in his work and encouraged him and once the wins started coming there was no looking back. You will also find that the decision to play messi in the middle was totally messi’s idea and they had a little quarel over it for 2 days before it was eventually resolved. The reason you didn’t know about this the way u learnt about Lucho’s case with messi was that pep completely shot out the press from the team’s trainings. So there’s nothing that happened between lucho and the players that didn’t happen with pep. Places and coaches disagree all the time, and they agree for a common goal, to win. Lucho might not be all in all, but you can’t argue with his results

          • Pius Kamau

            Xavi wasn’t part of the 40+ games unbeaten, he had already gone to Qatar.
            Lucho might have added some few tactical adjustments that made us look unpredictable but with time his more direct style has resulted in our passing and midfield play regress massively, man just look at ALL the tactical and substitution blunders that he makes…REPEATEDLY….this just means he’s not as good as some of you think.
            I know you’ll defend Lucho no matter what but let’s wait till the results stop coming (i.e trophies) while we play badly at the same time….that time might surely come soon!

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Yes xavi was part of 39 games unbeaten run as it started late 14/15 season. I’m glad you finally agreed to Lucho making tactical adjustments contrary to your initial opinion that the team ran itself and has nothing to do with the coach. I begin to wonder why this same team ran itself to a trophyless 13/14 season when the only real changes to your so-called gala 11 was sanchez for suarez and valdez for bravo (rakitic switched places often with xaviniesta) did they deliberately run themselves trophyless just to oust tata? We both don’ t think so do we? That establishes the fact that no team can achieve anything without a good coach even with 3 best players in the world and others who are arguably the best in their respective positions. 2 seasons later with 10 new additions, 7 hard won trophies (with difficult uefa ban), a better win ratio than any other coach in world football after 100 games….some fans still call him clueless and mediocre coach and wishing we go trophyless just to prove a point? That’s unbelievably absurd

          • Pius Kamau

            The winning streak I’m talking about is 2015-2016 season, Xavi was not part of it.
            You only look at success within the 2 seasons and a lot of it was actually due to individual and collective brilliance, Lucho is responsible for a very small portion of that success, while you completely IGNORE and TOSS AWAY the fact that FC Barcelona’s brand of football is freaking REGRESSING……..!!
            When was the last time you saw Barca playing fruitless box to box football?
            When was the last time you saw Barca’s midfield being near non-existent against an under dog opponent on paper?
            When was the last time you saw us being bailed out by headers scored by a defender?….(we still lost anyway)
            When was the last time you saw Busi averaging so few passes?
            We’re not even on Rijkaard’s Barca level anymore……it’s all good you can keep bringing up the trophy cabinet argument which is in the PAST….I’m more concerned with the NOW & THE FUTURE…….quite frankly with this trend, it’s looking bleak!!

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Argggg! Let’s cut it short, how many trophies do you imagine pep would have won won without the individual brilliance of messi, xavi, iniesta, busquet? All due respect to pep. How beautiful do you imagine his link up plays will be without the mastery of a certain xavi and iniesta? You seem to have forgotten how many slender wins a puyol header got us, or maybe you should check pique’s goals average per season since pep. Did pep or rijkaard teams have bad days against small teams on paper? Compare their win ratios to that of lucho and you have a very clear answer. It’s surprsing to me that you’ve chosen to base your assessment on one very match riddled mostly by the mistakes of busi and Mats. What “trend” are you even talking about? Just before the end of the 38 games unbeaten the washington post called us “the show of world sports” do you earn that name by playing zero aesthetics and bad quality football? Does the celta and alaves loss suddenly define a trend? Can’t you see that the coach is trying to incorporate our new acquisitions into the team and possibly create a system based on the quality of these guys? There will never be another xavi, iniesta, busquet tandem and barcacan

          • Pius Kamau

            BVB currently play better passing football than us, our game is deteriorating that’s the point and his signings aren’t what we needed.
            I just think we analyze football very differently man…very differently, you don’t seem to see anything wrong with Barca right now.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Sum up BVB’s pass per game, compare with ours, then maybe we can have a conversation

          • Pius Kamau

            Hence the problem there mate, you talking of stats, ever heard that stats can tell a deceiving story?, a deteriorating Barca might still look better than most teams from a statistics perspective, that however doesn’t take away the fact that we are deteriorating.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Not in my eyes mate, not in my eyes. You have to embrace the fact that this sint Pep and his boys, this is Enrique and his boys and they bring options to what pep left on the table. No two managers are same, no two players are the same. Stop expecting like for like replacements in patterns and play that’s just not possible. It’s understandable that you consider pep’s team the gold standard and quite frankly it’s difficult to accept anything less so I understand you position and quite sympathise. But then they say different tales for different folks, this is Luis enrique’s tales now, one secret to happiness is to be forgiving enought to let go of the past, be flexible enough to see the good in the present and embrace them, and be optimistic about the future. After pep’s departure the whole world including you and I surely considered barca’s future as bleak, our play was easily fathomed and every win became a big struggle at the tail end of pep’s fourth season, parking the bus became a game plan rather than a momentary match outcome. After 2 not so successful seasons and 3 different managers Lucho came and wore the big shoe, by my last check we still sometimes record between 27-29 unterrupted passes and bang! A beautiful goal in the space of 60-69 seconds. If this isn’t beautiful football I don’t know what else is. And quite frankly it is also to early to judge our football this season, I would wait till a January when a lot of fitting ins. And yes, statistics tell a big story in football because that’s the only objective yardstick by which performances are measured though it doesn’t consider some crucial details like how many off the ball runs that a suarez makes to create chances for a neymar to score, but here’s one food for thought- tata’s barca won a rayo vallencano by 4-0, guess what the headline was after the game? “Barca concedes possession in laliga for the first time in 6 years” can you beat that? Even after a 4-0 win? Now I don’t remember a lucho team ever losing the possession battle to any team, even when we were trashed we still win that possession battle, that tells you a lot, this is how we play, this is the barca way, the game of possession and attacking play, and lucho has kept true to this tradition. Even in the years when our midfield was much stronger, statistics has also shown than an andres iniesta didn’t necessarily give a significantly higher number of assists than he has done in the past 2 seasons and today. So while you call it deterioration, some of us fans and press call it evolution.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu
  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    I stand with Lucho and his experiments, I stand with the coach for giving everyone a chance in big and small games alike. Mats fucked but I stand in solidarity to his style. I stand with every other hustler on the pitch who currently struggle to make their marks in the team (Gomes, Rafinha, Paco, Dennis) I stand with the boys who are currently battling with form (mash, suarez, busquet)… I have nothing but love for them all knowing that the 7 trophies we won in 2 seasons didn’t just crawl up our cabinet and that it took every effort of all of these guys (save the new comers)