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Celta Vigo v Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves appreciate tough test

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has urged focus from his Barcelona team-mates ahead of their trip to face high-flying Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Barca have enjoyed a perfect start to their title defence, with Sunday’s 4-1 win over Levante making it four wins out of four domestically.

Celta are only two points behind after first-half goals from Nolito and Daniel Wass inspired them to a 2-1 win at Sevilla ahead of the season’s first round of midweek league fixtures.

“On Wednesday we have a tough game,” Ter Stegen, who is enjoying his first run of La Liga action for Barcelona as a result of Claudio Bravo’s calf injury, told the club’s official website.

“Maintaining this level of play is very tough because we have games every three days and we have to be very focused.”

Dani Alves returned at right-back against Levante following a groin problem and the Brazil international is wary of the threat posed by Nolito, who has scored four times in his previous three outings.

“I have to study Nolito because he’s electric,” Alves said on the Barcelona website.

“He’s intense and a big challenge, and in the end we play to go against the best. I know how difficult that is and I hope to be up to the challenge if the coach plays me.

“We always think about how well we’re going to play, we are always positive. We know we have to play our best if we want to continue winning.”

Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta are poised to return to the Barcelona starting XI after they were rested against Levante, while Gerard Pique is available for La Liga action for the first time this season after completing a four-match ban.

Celta defender Jonny will sit out the contest, serving a suspension of his own having collected a second booking during the closing stages at Sevilla.

Barcelona won the corresponding fixture last season 1-0 in April thanks to a Jeremy Mathieu goal but Celta were victorious by the same margin on their last visit to the Camp Nou –  Joaquin Larrivey netting a 55th-minute winner.

Such displays have won an admirer in the form of Barca coach Luis Enrique, who was in charge of Celta for a season before returning to take over at the Catalan giants last year.

“Celta are one of the most entertaining teams to watch, not just in Spain but in Europe,” he told reporters after Barca’s weekend victory.

Mon 21 Sep, 2015
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