LA LIGA

Predicted Barcelona Lineup vs Celta Vigo

Barcelona travel to Balaidos to face Celta Vigo on Saturday evening, hoping to return to winning ways in La Liga.

The Catalan giants’ two-game winning run in La Liga was snapped with a riveting 3-3 draw with Granada last weekend. Two points dropped means they failed to close down the gap on second-placed Granada, who were smashed 4-0 by Real Madrid on Sunday.

The share of spoils with Granada is the umpteenth confirmation that Xavi Hernandez’s team just can’t find any sort of consistency when it comes to results or performance. Xavi, who has been under pressure for majority of the season, will be expecting a stirring response from his boys against Celta Vigo, who are a place and three points above the drop zone.

Barcelona Team News

Ronald Araujo was an unused substitute against Granada as he was given a night off by coach Xavi Hernandez, dispelling any fears of an injury. The Uruguayan defender also missed training on Monday but is expected to play when Barcelona return to action on Saturday against Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Alejandro Balde is set for a lengthy period on the sidelines, having had an operation on the hamstring injury he picked up against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey. Sergi Roberto will be unavailable for a few weeks due to an Achilles problem, joining Ferran Torres (thigh), Joao Felix (ankle), Marcos Alonso (back) and Gavi (knee) on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Vitor Roque will be available for selection again after he was suspended in the previous game for picking up two yellow cards in the 3-1 win over Alaves.

Predicted Barcelona lineup vs Celta Vigo (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made his long-awaited return from injury against Granada but couldn’t prevent his team from shipping three goals. The German will be raring to keep a clean sheet at Balaidos on Saturday.

Defence

Xavi Hernandez confirmed that Ronald Araujo was rested in the 3-3 draw with Granada and there are no fresh injury concerns, meaning the Uruguayan should start this time around. He will replace teenager Pau Cubarsi and link up with Inigo Martinez in central defence.

Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo must take up the full-back slots, supporting the central defenders as well as helping the team in stitching attacks. The quartet will look to remain compact and cut off Celta Vigo’s passing lanes.

Midfield

As for the midfield unit, Andreas Christensen operated as a No.6 against Granada. While he struggled, Xavi could stick with the Dane in the centre of the park.

With Christensen screening the Barcelona defence, Ilkay Gundogan and Frenkie de Jong will be tasked with pulling the strings and unlocking the Celta Vigo rearguard.

Attack

Finally, Robert Lewandowski should spearhead the Barcelona attack against Celta Vigo, with Pedri and Lamine Yamal completing the numbers in the offensive department. Yamal has been among the team’s most impressive players in recent weeks and deserves to keep his place on the right flank, while Pedri hopes to catch the eye from the advanced left-wide role.

Raphinha received some minutes against Granada after recovering from a hamstring injury and he could come off the bench again for Xavi’s side when required. Vitor Roque will also get a chance to make an impact at Balaidos.

Rohan Sengupta

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