Preview and Prediction
Ronald Koeman’s great debut as Barcelona’s commander last weekend has been widely appreciated. He has brought fresher and slightly more direct attack than his predecessors. Next, he will be leading his team for the away fixture this midweek against Celta Vigo. They might not be one of their contenders on the top four but Oscar Garcia’s men have all the potentials to stumble them, just like last season when they held Messi and Co in a 2-2 draw which cost their failure to stay on the top of the table after the restart. No wonder that Celta is often regarded as the intriguing opponent.
Both teams’ previous games
Celta has been unbeaten in their first three games with one win over Valencia and two draws. Last weekend, they could only muster a 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid. Iago Aspas gave them the lead as he buried the ball from a narrow space on the left side of Valladolid’s defence. However, the home side finally managed to equalise by Sergi Guardiola’s penalty.
Barcelona, on the other hand, began their campaign with more convincing result. They trashed Villareal 4-0 at Camp Nou. Ansu Fati bagged a brace and followed by two goals from Messi’s contribution, his penalty and his long drive leading to Pau Torres’ own goal.
The former Barcelona man in the mid 90s squad, Oscar Garcia, normally employs 4-3-3 formation. However, considering their upcoming contender’s deadly forwards, he could switch to 5-4-1 to create low defensive stance and able to build up a swift counter attack relying on Iago Aspas’s pace and Denis Suarez’s vision to deliver dangeroud through balls into Barca’s defensive line.
Ronald Koeman is expected to stick to his 4-2-3-1 plan with constant swapping positions among Messi, Griezmann, Coutinho and Ansu Fati. Blaugrana’s attack no longer puts Messi and Busquets as the center of the build-up. Frankie De Jong is the anchorman accompanied by Miralem Pjanic or Busquets and support the new quartet upfront. Meanwhile, Marc Ter-Stegen, Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite are still ruled out.
Players to watch
The former Liverpool versatile frontman, Iago Aspas, is the irreplaceable figure on the front. He has netted three goals in two matches so far. Some other vital men in the squad are the former Barcelona and Villareal man, Denis Suarez, Nolito and the Turkish youngster Emre Mor.
Barcelona’s living legend, Leo Messi, is still one of the key men this season but the task of scoring or providing assist will be shared with Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati. Some other notable names to watch are Frankie De Jong, Phillipe Coutinho and Clement Lenglet.
Celta vs Barcelona Prediction
Both teams have fairly positive trend and they surely will not let it spoiled with a defeat, especially the visitor who have been striving to revamp the squad for a much better campaign, in both domestic and continental. Despite being on the road, Ronald Koeman’s men should still be able to seal a narrow win at least.