All eyes will be on Balaidos this weekend as Barcelona travel to Celta Vigo in another huge game for the embattled and embittered Catalan giants. The home team may only be two points above the relegation zone, but Celta can draw within two points of their visitors with a victory over Barca in this game.
Where and when: Abanca-Balaidos – 6 October, kick-off 15:15
Where you can see Celta Vigo vs. Barcelona: La Liga TV, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Lionel Messi put Barcelona ahead when the teams met at the Nou Camp in the penultimate game of last season, but a brace from Santi Mina handed Celta a 2-1 comeback victory.
Celta Vigo v Barcelona Predictions and Preview
There is, of course, no more Messi to put Barcelona into the lead these days. There’s also no Sergio Aguero here after the Argentine forward worryingly suffered chest pains in Barca’s draw against Alaves last weekend. There’s also no more Ronald Koeman after the Dutchman was relieved of duties prior to that match.
Koeman’s days appeared numbered for many months, with results such as that defeat to Celta at the back end of last season doing his cause no good whatsoever. Sergi Barjuan is in temporary charge of the Blaugrana, and Aguero aside, the interim coach has some most welcome news on the injury front.
The likes of Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo and Ousmane Dembele are all back in contention after various ailments, although Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Pedri and Martin Braithwaite are all still expected to miss out.
Barcelona will be desperate to get as many of their options back as possible, as they face a huge period in the club’s history. The Blaugrana head into this fixture down in ninth in the La Liga table, some nine points behind league leaders Real Sociedad and eight off Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
This current Barca team provides limited pull for the calibre of coach the club is in desperate need of right now, although it appears the search revolves solely around former player Xavi. Whoever’s in the dugout, there’s still plenty of quality in this Barcelona squad and they are the 11/10 favourites for the win on Saturday.
The home team are 29/11 in these Celta Vigo v Barcelona predictions, with the draw priced at 27/10. Barca may have coasted to a 3-0 victory at Balaidos last season, but given their recent record at this ground and current form this season, a stalemate may be the best the visitors can hope for.
Celta won three and drew the other three of their six home games against Barca prior to last season. Eduardo Coudet’s side may have only won one of their last five La Liga fixtures, losing three, but Los Celestes have rarely had a better chance of getting a result against Barcelona in recent seasons.
One to watch for Celta Vigo: Santi Mina bagged a match-winning brace the last time these teams met, and is Celta’s top scorer this season with four goals so far in La Liga. Los Celestes will be desperate for him to recover from a hamstring injury in time to play in this game.
One to watch for Barcelona: Ansu Fati is the big hope for his club, not just in this Celta Vigo v Barcelona preview, but in general this season. The talented youngster has two goals so far this term and is 6/1 to add to that with the opener here.
Long shot: Celta have scored exactly four goals in two of their last three home wins against Barca. Los Celestes to win and over 4.5 goals is 13/1 in these Celta Vigo v Barcelona tips, while you can back a 4-1 home win at 100/1. With Iago Aspas scoring first, those odds rise to an eye-opening 566/1.