Celta Vigo vs Barcelona: Preview and Prediction

Relegation-threatened Celta Vigo will look to return to winning ways when they host third placed Barcelona.

It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Barcelona, Xavi has already decided to part ways with the club at the end of the season and winning a trophy will be very difficult for them given the kind of football they are planning. But, they do have a chance of returning to winning ways when they hit the road to square up against 17th-placed Celta Vigo.

The home team will have to battle it out for survival in the Spanish top flight. They are just three points above the drop zone and need to ensure they can accumulate enough points to save themselves from relegation. A win against Barcelona could do wonders for them not just in terms of points but in terms of team morale.

Celta Vigo have only won one out of their last five league games and they are heading into this one on the back of a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Getafe. They will have to bring the best out of them to get one better against the Catalan giants.

Barcelona are third in the league with 51 points out of their 24 matches. They are 10 points behind league leaders Real Madrid and only a slip-up from Los Blancos can now give them a shot at the league title.

The Catalan giants are heading into this one on the back of a disappointing 3-3 draw against Granada. They were far from their best and now have an opportunity to bounce back before they face Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

The reverse fixture between the two teams earlier in the season ended 3-2 in favour of Barcelona and they will hope for a similar if not a better result. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Celta Vigo

Rafael Benitez will be without the services of Joseph Aidoo who has been out for a while now. Meanwhile, Carlos Dotor’s availability is doubtful but apart from that they don’t really have anything to worry about.

Despite the loss last time out, Benitez is unlikely to make any major changes to his XI. But, Tadeo Allende is in contention to start in this fixture after the 24-year-old came off the bench to score in their last fixture.

The home team will go ahead with the 3-4-3 formation where Vicente Guaita will be in goal. Renato Tapia, Unai Núñez and Carlos Domínguez will form the back three. They will look for a clean sheet against a star-studded attack.

Javier Manquillo and Mihailo Ristić will feature as the wing-backs. They will look to support the back three and ensure the opposition wingers are in check. Jailson and Fran Beltrán will be the two central midfielders.

As far as the attack is concerned, Allende and Luca de la Torre will feature out wide on the flanks. Jorgen Strand Larsen will be leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Guaita; Tapia, U Nunez, Dominguez; Manquillo, Jailson, Beltran, Ristic; Allende, Larsen, De la Torre

Celta Vigo vs Barcelona Predicted XI


Barcelona will be without the services of Ferran Torres, Joao Felix, Sergi Roberto, Alejandro Balde, Marcos Alonso and Gavi. Oriol Romeu has a knee issue and his availability is doubtful.

They do have a boost as Raphinha returned to action last time out and is expected to start in this fixture. Vitor Roque is also back having served a suspension.

Xavi will stick to the 4-3-3 formation where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will start as the full-backs. They will look to support the central partnership of Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez.

Ilkay Gundogan will most likely start alongside Frenkie de Jong and Pedri in the centre of the park. The trio will look to control the majority of the possession and dictate the pace of the game.

Raphinha will most likely start on the left flank because Xavi is expected to stick with Lamine Yamal on the right. And, star striker Robert Lewandowski will continue to lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, I Martinez, Cancelo; F de Jong, Gundogan, Pedri; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Celta Vigo vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Celta Vigo have lost three out of their last four fixtures.
  • The reverse fixture between the two teams ended in a 3-2 win for the Catalan giants.
  • Barcelona have accumulated seven points in their last three league outings since Xavi made his decision public.
  • The Catalan giants are the third-highest-scoring team in the division having scored 50 goals in 24 outings.
  • Barcelona’s last away trip to Estadio de Balaídos ended in a defeat.

Player to Watch

Lamine Yamal

The 16-year-old sensation is already a regular at Barcelona, he has featured in 33 matches and has contributed towards 10 goals. Xavi has depended on the teenager to help him out on multiple occasions and he has delivered every time. The Catalan giants might not have won last time out but he did find the back of the net twice and the Spanish manager will hope Yamal carries on the good work.


Celta Vigo 0-3 Barcelona

When the two teams met earlier in the season, Barcelona completed an incredible comeback to seal a 3-2 win. Despite not being at their best for the majority of the match, they got what they wanted thanks to an incredible final 10-minute spell.

This time out things might be a touch easier for the Catalan giants as they will be eager to return to winning ways. They will look to ensure they control the tempo of the game and do not make mistakes they did last time out. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 win for the away team.

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