Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Prediction: Celta Vigo vs Barcelona

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

FC Barcelona do not have anything to play for in the remaining three league matches since they have already won the Liga title. However, that’s not the same scenario for Celta. Los Gallegos sit just two points above the relegation zone, and getting a positive result in this match is mandatory if they want to take a huge step to avoid losing their top-flight status. Kick-off for this match is scheduled at 20:45 BST.

Celta Vigo

Barca might have nothing to play for here, but things are quite different for Celta. Los Gallegos have been an underachieving side during the entire 2018/19 season and, as a result, they’ve spent most of the campaign flirting with a potential relegation threat. But they’ve registered three consecutive home wins, and that has helped Celta Vigo to move out of the relegation zone. Their top-flight status for the 2019/20 season remains in the balance, but it’s quite clear they’re going in the right direction. If they want to get a positive result here, however, then Celta must strengthen things on the defensive side of the ball. Fran Escriba’s men own the league’s third-worst defence with 57 goals conceded. That tally is only bettered by two other relegation-threatened sides such as Levante and Rayo Vallecano. Will they manage to slow down the newly-conquered champions in a tough home fixture?

Team News

Celta Vigo don’t have any confirmed absentee ahead of this match. But four players are reportedly doubtful.

The list includes Iago Aspas (shoulder), David Junca (groin), Hugo Mallo (foot) and Emre Mor (ankle)

FC Barcelona

Los Blaugranas are currently going through an impressive run of form in the past few weeks. Ernesto Valverde’s men have gone W4, D1 in their last five league matches, and have deservedly secured the title since they’ve been a few echelons above the rest of the competition during the entire season just like their W25, D8, L2 record suggests. But there is a big chance Barcelona rotates the side ahead of this encounter. Knowing they have the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals at Liverpool next week, Barca will probably rest some of their key players ahead of this match. Valverde hasn’t given any indication of this happening, but sounds like the smart move given the Camp Nou outfit doesn’t have anything to play for here. They’ve been quite good playing on the road this season, registering a league-best W11, D5, L1 mark.

Team News

Barca won’t have three players due to injury ahead of this match.

Rafinha is out with a season-ending knee injury, while both Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are suspended.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Six of their last eight home games for Celta have ended with both sides scoring.
  • However, Los Celestes own the third-worst defence in the league with an average of 1.63 goals conceded per match.
  • Celta have won their last three home matches. On the other hand, Barca have won their last three Liga matches overall.
  • Los Blaugranas own the best attack of the league playing on the road, with 2.17 goals scored per away fixture.
  • Barca are undefeated in their last six H2H matches against Celta in all competitions (W3, D3).

Conclusion

Celta Vigo need the win here, and Barcelona have been scoring goals for fun this season. Therefore, I believe this match will end with at least three goals scored in total.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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