Celta Vigo will be hosting Barcelona for their La Liga tie at the Balaidos on Wednesday evening. Another chance for the visitors to edge closer to the title or for Celta Vigo to take advantage of the shaky Barcelona defence?
Ernesto Valverde’s men are still feeling the after-effects of the embarrassing 3-0 defeat to AS Roma in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals. They did manage to bounce back with a 2-1 win against Valencia last weekend but they did look vulnerable throughout the game.
Now the Copa Del Rey and the league title are all they have in registering silverware this season. Another campaign without European glory and their bitter rivals, Real Madrid progressing to the Semi-Finals and on their way to securing the third-consecutive trophy.
While Lionel Messi and co still hold an 11-point lead at the top of the table, this game does not need to be just another formality.
The domestic cup final is in the weekend and the Blaugrana need all the momentum they can get to face the charged Sevilla side in the weekend. The Red and Whites have already shown their prowess in the 2-2 draw earlier this month.
The last time Celta met up with the league leaders was back in December when the tie ended 2-2 at the Nou Camp. Their impressive season of top-half finish remains hopeful of a European qualification spot. Sevilla are ahead by just 4 points with 6 games still left in the regular season. Maybe an upset in this fixture will be the turnaround they were looking towards.
Here is how Barcelona might lineup on gameday.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the predicted starter in between the sticks ahead of Jasper Cillessen.
The German international might get shielded by the defensive quartet of Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Nelson Semedo. Sergi Roberto might be given a breather in anticipation of the Sevilla game.
Paulinho and Andre Gomes might appear in the holding midfield role. Ousmane Dembele is expected to mark his return to the starting XI by getting featured on the right wing.
Andres Iniesta might take up a similar place on the left but is expected to drift inside into a more central role.
Luis Suarez got himself a goal in the previous tie and extended his league scoring tally to 23. He might get partnered by Lionel Messi in the strike force with Paco Alcacer on the bench as backup.
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