Barcelona are going through one of their roughest periods of modern times off the pitch at present, and could use a result against Celta Vigo in this midweek round of La Liga fixtures. Los Celticos may not prove to be the kind of hosts Barca are after though, following a strong start to the new campaign.
Where and when: Balaidos – 1 October, kick-off 20:30
Where you can see Celta Vigo vs. Barcelona: Premier Sports, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Luis Suarez twice put Barcelona in front when the teams met at Balaidos in late June, but Fedor Smolov and then Iago Aspas drew Celta level, with the hosts’ second equaliser coming in the 88th minute.
Celta Vigo v Barcelona Predictions and Preview
There’ll be no Suarez banging in the goals for Barcelona in this game, after Ronald Koeman unceremoniously dumped the club’s third highest ever scorer upon arriving at the Nou Camp in the summer. The Dutch coach is undertaking a serious rebuilding job at his new club, and Celta Vigo will look to take advantage of the disarray here.
Oscar Garcia Junyent only secured his club’s top flight survival by a single point last season following a seven-match winless run at the end of the campaign, but Celta have come out of the blocks flying this time round. Los Celestes got a point away to Eibar in their opener, and followed that up with a superb 2-1 victory over Valencia, with Iago Aspas netting a brace.
The home team will likely need their main man on form in this one to stand any chance of a win, which they are 5/1 to get in your Celta Vigo vs Barcelona predictions for this game. Vigo are unbeaten in their last six home games against the Catalans, winning three of those encounters by scorelines of 2-0, 4-3 and 4-1.
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Barcelona to win and BTTS
Barcelona to win 3-2
Barcelona to win from behind
Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a draw, which has been the outcome in four of the last eight meetings between the clubs. A repeat of that this week is 10/3. There hasn’t been an away win in this fixture since Barca won at Balaidos back in April 2015, a run of 12 matches, but the visitors remain the heavy favourites nonetheless at 8/13 in the latest odds.
At least the Blaugrana will have Lionel Messi in their ranks following the Argentine’s failed bid to leave the club. Koeman’s plans for putting last season’s humiliating 8-2 capitulation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League will become clearer after this game and Barca’s season opener at home to Villarreal on Sunday. He simply has to make a strong start after the decisions he’s made.
The Barca boss won’t have first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen available for this game though due to injury, while Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite are also out. Celta see their visitors’ injured ‘keeper and raise them a second on the treatment table, with Ruben Blanco and Sergio Alvarez both out until early November. Oscar is hoping to have Jeison Murillo and Renato Tapia available for this one though.
One to watch for Celta Vigo: Iago Aspas has made a strong start to the new campaign, and he’s worth a look in the first goalscorer market if you fancy the hosts to take the lead.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi is the focus of the footballing world after his dramatic summer, and the Argentine is always enticing for the first goal of any game.
Long shot: Celta have scored exactly four goals in two of their last three home wins against Barca, who are still reeling from shipping eight against Bayern just a matter of weeks ago. A second 4-3 victory for Celta in four encounters between the sides at Balaidos is priced at 110/1.