Relegation-threatened Celta Vigo are all set to host La Liga champions Barcelona as they look to survive in the Spanish top flight.
La Liga leaders Barcelona will hit the road one final time in the season to square up against Celta Vigo. The home team will have to secure a positive result to ensure they stay in La Liga. Meanwhile, the visitors will look to end the season on a high.
Celta Vigo have accumulated 40 points out of their 37 matches. They have a one-point lead over 18th-placed Real Valladolid. So a win in the final fixture will ensure their survival. But if they end up playing out a draw or lose against Barcelona, Celta Vigo’s future in La Liga will depend on other results because head-to-head records are used to separate teams when they are level on points.
The home team have not won any of their last five league games. And, they are heading into this fixture on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cadiz. It is desperate times for Celta Vigo, and they will have to produce the goods against the Catalan giants.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have already won the league title. They do not really have anything to play for but will look to end the season on a high with a win. However, it won’t be easy as the home team will give it their all to secure all three points.
Last time out, Barcelona managed to bounce back from back-to-back defeats in the league and secured a 3-0 win over RCD Mallorca. They will look to continue in a similar fashion and end the season with a win. This will be Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba’s last match for the Catalan giants.
Last time around when the two teams met in the league, Barcelona managed to come out on top by narrowest of the margins. They ended up winning 1-0 at home and will be hoping for a better outing this time around. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics they could use.
Team News & Tactics
Carlos Carvalhal will be without the services of Fran Beltran and Agustin Marchesin for the final league fixture of the season. Apart from the duo, he does not really have any fresh injury concerns.
— RC Celta (@RCCelta) June 3, 2023
The home team is expected to start with the 4-3-3 formation, where Ivan Villar will be in goal. Oscar Mingueza and Javi Galan should start out wide as the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, Joseph Aidoo should pair up with Unai Nunez.
As far as the midfielder is concerned, the highly sought-after Gabri Veiga will start alongside Oscar Rodriguez and Renato Tapia. Iago Aspas, who featured off the bench last time around, should start as the left winger. Meanwhile, Carles Perez should start on the right flank, and Haris Seferovic will be leading the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Villar; Mingueza, Aidoo, Nunez, Galan; Veiga, Tapia, Oscar Rodriguez; Perez, Seferovic, Aspas
The visitors will be without the services of Alejandro Balde, who picked up an ankle injury in their last outing. Ronald Araujo and Pedri, who have struggled with muscular problems of late, are expected to be not risked for this outing.
The last pregame training session of the season, so you gotta have fun. pic.twitter.com/bu1XJFGtSX
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 3, 2023
Xavi will start with the 4-3-3 formation, where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba should be the full-backs. Jules Kounde should start as a centre-back alongside Marcos Alonso.
As far as the midfield is concerned, skipper Sergio Busquets will start as the holding midfielder for the final time, and he will have the support of Gavi and Frenkie de Jong. Ousmane Dembele should start on the right flank. Meanwhile, Ansu Fati should start on the left and the goal machine Robert Lewandowski should be leading the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Roberto, Kounde, Christensen, Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Dembele, Lewandowski, Fati
- Barcelona are the second-highest-scoring team in the league with 69 goals in 37 outings.
- Celta Vigo are on the brink of relegation after having spent the last 11 seasons in Spain’s top flight.
- The Catalan giants have the best defence in the league, they have only conceded 18 goals so far.
- The home team are on a six-match winless streak in the league.
- Carlos Carvalhal’s men last won a league game back in April when they defeated Elche 1-0.
Player to Watch
Ansu Fati might no longer be a regular starter in the Barcelona setup due to multiple injuries over the past two seasons. But, the 20-year-old still has it in him. And, he showcased his quality with two goals in his previous outing.
The Barcelona youth product is expected to start once again and all eyes will be on him. The Spain international has ten goal contributions in the league and will look to add to it when he takes the field against Celta Vigo.
Celta Vigo 1-1 Barcelona
Celta Vigo are heading into this fixture on the back of a loss. They have been winless in their last six league fixtures. The home team’s last victory came back in April. If they fail to get a positive result against the Catalan giants, their time in the Spanish top flight might come to an end. Carlos Carvalhal will throw everything at it, to ensure they do not end up losing.
Meanwhile, the Catalan giants will look to end the season on a high. While they do not have anything at stake, Xavi will still look to end the season with a positive result and might field a team full of starters.
Given the difference in quality between the two squads, Celta Vigo might not be able to claim all three points against the Catalan giants. But, they can sure get a point out of it. The Hard Tackle predicts a 1-1 draw between the two teams.