MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 19:13:33| >> :120:7086:7086:
May 4, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Abanca-Balaídos (Vigo)
Attendance: 22,519
Celta Vigo
2-0
Barcelona
Gomez (67'), Aspas (88' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Lionel Messi among eight Barcelona players rested for Celta clash

Lionel Messi among eight Barcelona players rested for Celta clash
© Reuters
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are among the first-team regulars who will be rested.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insists his team are not taking Celta Vigo lightly, despite his decision to rest eight senior players for Saturday's away match.

Barca have already secured the LaLiga title and are on the brink of a place in the Champions League final as well as preparing for the final of the Copa del Rey.

Lionel Messi will be rested at Celta, along with Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

However Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Arturo Vidal, Arthur and keeper Jasper Cillessen are among those expected to feature.

According to Marca, Valverde said: "We're treating this game the same as the others.

"We're going to try to get three points. We've put in lots of effort in the last three weeks and we're going to make changes because it's necessary to.

"It's clear that we got a good result (in the 3-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg victory over Liverpool) but the tie isn't over, far from it.

Lionel Messi, who scored twice in the Champions League win over Liverpool, will not play against Celta Vigo
Lionel Messi, who scored twice in the Champions League win over Liverpool, will not play against Celta Vigo (Emilio Morenatti/AP).

"We know this because we watch Liverpool regularly, we know what they're capable of.

"Although there will be time to worry about (Liverpool), I know we can't lose focus on the tie, but now we have to concentrate on (Celta).

"I could use (Cillessen) in these games. Each time there's a possibility, he's played a match, like he didn't last year. We're happy with him, he's a great goalkeeper and I know that the goalkeeper position is very special."

Holland international Jasper Cillessen is in line to start in goal for Barcelona
Holland international Jasper Cillessen is in line to start in goal for Barcelona (Nigel French/PA).

Valverde also reminded his team that their past three visits to Celta have resulted in two defeats and a draw, adding: "We lost here last year.

"We made changes in the league and cup, I remember. It's the first opportunity to change the dynamic."

Celta manager Fran Escriba has taken encouragement from Barca's team selection, telling his club's official website: "We are aware that Rakitic and Busquets are not coming due to a suspension. It's a good opportunity for us because we believe we can beat any team."

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Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona on December 2, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
3Barcelona38247785384779
4Sevilla38245953332077
5Real Sociedad3817111059382162
6Real Betis381710115050061
7Villarreal3815131060441658
8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
9Granada38137184765-1846
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
11Osasuna381111163748-1144
12CadizCadiz381111163658-2244
13Valencia381013155053-343
14Levante38914154657-1141
15Getafe38911182843-1538
16AlavesAlaves38911183657-2138
17ElcheElche38812183455-2136
RHuesca38713183453-1934
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331
REibarEibar38612202952-2330

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