MX23RW : Tuesday, October 20 00:38:20| >> :120:10005:10005:
Oct 1, 2020 at 8.30pm UK at Balaídos
Celta VigoCelta Vigo
0-3
BarcelonaBarcelona

Aidoo (39'), Araujo (48'), Tapia (69'), Murillo (75'), Beltran (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Fati (11'), Olaza (51' og.), Roberto (90+5')
Lenglet (23'), Pique (42'), Alba (84'), Busquets (87')
Lenglet (42')

Preview: Celta Vigo vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Celta Vigo and Barcelona, including team news and predicted lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to keep their momentum going under new head coach Ronald Koeman when they head to Celta Vigo for their second La Liga outing of the season.

The Catalan giants thrashed Villarreal 4-0 in their first competitive match of the Koeman era, but Celta have also started strongly and boast an impressive record in this fixture.


Match preview

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Barcelona against Villarreal on September 27, 2020© Reuters

For all the talk of Barcelona being in crisis, with key men departing and Lionel Messi being denied the chance to do the same, they looked very good in their opening league outing.

Ansu Fati stole the show by scoring two early goals and winning the penalty for Messi to tuck in the third, before a Pau Torres own goal rounded off the scoring before half time.

It was near enough the perfect response from Barca to their critics on the back of a tough couple of months, but this will be a far tougher test for last term's runners-up.

Celta are unbeaten in their opening three matches, beating Valencia 2-1 at home in between a couple of draws away at Eibar and Real Valladolid.

That makes it four games without defeat overall in the top flight, which is just one short of their longest such run in the last three seasons.

Celta Vigo players celebrate Iago Aspas's late goal against Barcelona on June 27, 2020© Reuters

More than that, though, it is their record against Barca at Balaidos that makes this stand out as a possible banana skin fixture for the visitors.

Celta are unbeaten in their last five league meetings with Thursday's opponents on home soil, winning three and drawing two of those.

It is Barca's longest current winless away run against any opponent in La Liga, stretching back to Luis Enrique's time in charge five years ago.

Oscar Garcia's side have lost only two of their last 13 home league games, meanwhile, most recently seeing off Valencia at Balaidos through Iago Aspas's double.

However, Barcelona have won their last three away La Liga games and could win four on the spin for the first time since January 2019 with victory in midweek.

Celta Vigo La Liga form: DWD

Barcelona La Liga form: W


Team News

Barcelona's Lionel Messi pictured in August 2020© Reuters

Barca's first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is out for another couple of months with a knee injury, meaning that Neto is enjoying an extended run between the sticks.

Martin Braithwaite is also absent with a thigh problem sustained in training last week, while Samuel Umtiti is struggling with a knee issue and is unlikely to feature in the squad.

Koeman otherwise has a full squad to choose from, but changes are unlikely on the back of the routine win over Villarreal.

Messi, who has scored 11 goals in 16 La Liga appearances against Celta, should get the nod in the same front four - and indeed XI - that started last time out.

As for the hosts, Sergio Alvarez, Ruben Blanco and David Junca have all been ruled out through injury.

Garcia has been tipped to tweak his formation to a back three, which would mean Lucas Olaza and Kevin Vazquez operating in the wing-back positions.

Santi Mina will be hoping for a recall in attack alongside Aspas, who has scored seven goals in his last nine La Liga appearances against Barcelona.

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Villar; Aidoo, Murillo, Araujo; Vazquez, Tapia, Yokuslu, Olaza; Mendez; Mina, Aspas

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Neto; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann, Coutinho, Fati; Messi


SM words green background

We say: Celta Vigo 1-2 Barcelona

Only at the Santiago Bernabeu (seven) have Barcelona lost more games away from home in La Liga than at Balaidos this century.

Celta have started the campaign brightly and have a solid overall home record, but Barca looked impressive in their opening game and have won three away league matches in a row.

With that in mind, we are going with a narrow away win on Thursday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:416412:

Who will win Thursday's La Liga clash between Celta Vigo and Barcelona?

Celta Vigo
Draw
Barcelona
Celta Vigo
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Barcelona
0.0%
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Ronald Koeman pictured in charge of Barcelona during a pre-season friendly on September 16, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Sociedad6321102811
2Villarreal632188011
3Real Madrid531163310
4Getafe531153210
5Cadiz631266010
6Granada531178-110
7Real Betis630379-29
8Atletico MadridAtletico42208178
9Barcelona42118267
10Sevilla42115327
11Osasuna52125417
12ElcheElche42113307
13Valencia621389-17
14Athletic Bilbao520345-16
15EibarEibar612346-25
16Huesca605146-25
17Celta Vigo612339-65
18AlavesAlaves611438-54
19Real Valladolid603359-43
20Levante5104510-53

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