Monday, December 10, 2018

Prediction: Celta vs Barcelona

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

Celta Vigo haven’t enjoyed such a good start to the new La Liga campaign and they will now attempt to restore some of the lost confidence with a good performance against mighty Barcelona. The Catalans, on the other hand, aim to get closer to domestic double after the impressive 3-0 triumph over Real Madrid in El Clasico.

Celta Vigo

Celta Vigo are now considered a genuine top table side in La Liga following several very successful campaigns, and they are also challenging for European positions. Eager to remain competitive, the club further reinforced the ranks over the summer, signing Emre Mor, Jozabed and Maxi Gomez, among other players, but they have been punching below their weight this term. Midway through the league campaign, the Sky Blues find themselves in the bottom half of the standings, albeit just six points behind Europa League positions, so they’ve got enough time to return to the right track. Celta Vigo did well to end the year in style as they hammered Deportivo La Coruna on the road to make amends for back to back defeats to Valencia and Villarreal, and the New Year starts with a league clash against Real Madrid sandwiched between the Copa del Rey double-header vs Barcelona. Chances are that head coach Unzue will rest several starters in the first leg against the Catalans, but he will, nonetheless, attempt to record a good result at the start of the year.

Team News

Midfielder Stanislav Lobotka recovered from a bout of flu, but Daniel Wass is doubtful with an ankle problem. Back-ups Sergio Alvarez, Nemanja Radoja, Emre Mor and Jozabed could all start.

Barcelona

After a very difficult season last term, Barcelona are on the mend and they have been virtually unstoppable in the first part of the season, despite the fact that the squad have yet to be properly reinforced. The Catalans took great advantage of some unexpected slip ups suffered by their main title rivals and the amazing 3-0 victory over Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu saw them create 14-point advantage over los Blancos in the La Liga standings. And with second-placed Atletico Madrid losing to Espanyol in their final game of 2017, the Catalans are now overwhelming favourites for the new league trophy. Barcelona have also impressed in other competitions, and they will be vying Premier League champions Chelsea for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals, but now it’s time to prepare for the Copa del Rey Last 16 stage clash vs Celta Vigo. With the league clash against weak Levante next after the game at Balaidos, Ernesto Valverde is expected to field a strong side against the Sky Blues and ensure his team get a good result ahead of the return leg.

Team News

The likes of Messi, Suarez and Mascherano have returned to training after being given permission to return late to the training camp, and they will be in contention for the Celta game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Their last five meetings produced staggering 28 goals
  • Four or more goals were scored in each of those matches
  • Celta won last two home games vs Barcelona, scoring 8 goals in the process
  • Barcelona on a four-match winning run
  • The two teams played out a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou a month ago

Conclusion

Celta Vigo seem to get special inspiration when they play Barcelona, as witnessed by some very good results in the past meetings with the Catalans. We expect to see another interesting game between the two attack-minded sides and plenty of goals.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

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