Barcelona must succeed in putting pressure on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga when they travel to Celta Vigo for Saturday’s 4:00pm kick-off.
The Blaugrana are level on points with league leaders Madrid but will lose out on the title if it stays that way, as the latter have the better head-to-head record.
Barcelona gave away control of the title race with a draw against Sevilla last weekend but bounced back in midweek with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Their next opponents, Celta Vigo, are languishing near the bottom of the La Liga table, currently 16th. However, Oscar Garcia’s men appear to be safe from relegation, as they are seven points clear of 18th-placed Mallorca after back-to-back wins.
With Real Madrid not playing until Sunday, can Barcelona return to the top of the table? Or will they hand Los Blancos a safety net?
Where to watch Celta Vigo vs Barcelona on TV:
US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream the game:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Celta Vigo vs Barcelona live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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Celta Vigo & Barcelona’s confirmed line-ups and live stats:
Celta Vigo & Barcelona’s previous line-ups:
Celta Vigo (vs Real Sociedad): Blanco; Vazquez, Aidoo, Murillo, Olaza; Rafinha, Bradaric, Beltran; Aspas, Mina, Suarez.
Barcelona (vs Athletic Bilbao): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets*, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann.
Sergio Busquets is suspended for Barcelona after receiving his 10th yellow card of the season against Bilbao.
Players to watch:
Celta Vigo: Rafinha. Since La Liga returned, Celta Vigo have looked like a new side, winning two of their three games. The squad as a whole has been performing well, but Rafinha in particular has found form as Celta head into Saturday’s game against his parent club. Rafinha has spent the season on loan at Celta from Barcelona despite starting the Blaugrana‘s first three games of La Liga. The Brazilian has spread his playing time for Celta across a number of positions, either featuring on the wing or in a more central and deeper role. The past two matches have seen Rafinha deployed as part of a midfield trio and it’s from there he has had a telling influence. In Celta’s 6-0 win over Alaves, the Brazilian scored twice in a matter of moments before being taken off at half-time, then at a later date dominated the midfield in the 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad, completing a game-high seven take-ons. When Rafinha returns to Barcelona at the end of the season, he will have just one year remaining on his contract, a situation that could make Blaugrana decide to cash in while they can. Arsenal are among those reportedly interested.
Barcelona: Arthur. Another Barcelona midfielder whose future appears to be away from the club, Arthur has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus, with reports claiming the two giants have agreed a transfer deal. The 23-year-old has only been at Barcelona for two years, having joined from Gremio in 2018 on a six-year contract, and was initially among the top midfielders at the club. But injuries plus the arrivals of Arturo Vidal and Frenkie de Jong, as well as the presence of Sergio Busquets, have created obstacles between Arthur and a place in the side. This season, he has not exactly succeeded in surmounting them. The Brazilian has started just 14 La Liga matches so far, making a further six substitute appearances in Barcelona’s 31 games. However, with Busquets out suspended, now could be the time for Arthur to put himself on display and show Barcelona what they will be missing if he does indeed leave.
Scoreline prediction: Celta Vigo 1-2 Barcelona
La Liga 2019/20 recent form:
Celta Vigo: DLDWW