Monday, June 24, 2019

Prediction: FC Barcelona vs Celta Vigo

Verdict: Home side to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 7/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

It took them longer than expected, but FC Barcelona are playing at a very high level right now. Los Blaugranas will aim to the end their 2018 calendar year on a strong note hosting Celta de Vigo. The visiting squad are known for their high-scoring games, but will they have enough in them to potentially pull the upset at Camp Nou? Kick-off is slated at 17:30 hrs BST.

FC Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde’s men are riding a three-game winning streak and have lost just one of their previous five league matches (W3, D1, L1). Following two consecutive dominant wins over Villarreal (2-0) and Espanyol (4-0), Los Blaugranas registered a 5-0 thumping of Levante the last time out. It seems Barcelona are finally leaving their inconsistent start to the campaign on the rear view, and finally look like the dominant team that won the Liga title last term. They also clinched the top spot in their Champions League group, and all signs indicate they are riding at top speed at the moment. Of course, this run isn’t going to last forever, but there’s no doubt Barca have been extremely good on both ends of the pitch of late. Aside from keeping three consecutive shutouts, during that time frame Los Blaugranas have already scored 11 times. When at full strength, they can be unstoppable and the numbers back them up – Barcelona currently own the best attack in La Liga with 46 goals in only 16 matches, giving them almost 3.0 per game. Can they respect that average when they go against a Celta side that has been quite inconsistent during the current campaign?

Team News

Ernesto Valverde won’t have three players available for this match, with Rafinha (knee), Malcom (ankle) and Samuel Umtiti (knee) all sidelined.

Sergi Roberto (muscle) and Sergi Samper (calf) are both questionable entering this one. However, it’s worth mentioning both missed last week’s match as well. Therefore, their chances of playing are quite slim.

Celta de Vigo

Across the top five European leagues, few teams have performed as opposite – on both ends of the pitch – as Celta de Vigo. The Balaidos side currently feature the third-best attack in La Liga with 28 goals scored, but even on that scenario they sit in ninth place with only 21 points and a record that reads W5, D6, L5. To make things even more complicated, the 24 goals they have conceded rank as the second-highest mark among Top 10 sides in the Liga standings. Plus, their recent form shouldn’t do them any favours since they have gone W2, D1, L2 in their past five Liga outings. That form shouldn’t give them a lot of confidence entering into this game. Especially since Barcelona have conceded just once in their previous four matches, while keeping three straight shutouts. Needless to say, Celta de Vigo must perform at their best if they want to have even a slim chance to get a point out of this contest.

Team News

Celta de Vigo will be at full strength entering this contest. Manager Miguel Cardoso does not have any fresh injury concerns ahead of this tie.

Key Factors to Consider

  • FC Barcelona have lost just once in their previous six Liga matches this term. During that span, their record reads W4, D1, L1.
  • Los Blaugranas own the best attack in La Liga with 46 goals scored in 16 matches. This gives them an average of 2.87 goals scored per contest.
  • Despite sitting at the top, Barca have only been the fourth-best home side in the competition. Through seven games, they own a W5, D2, L1 mark.
  • Meanwhile, Celta are only the 14th best away side thanks to their W2, D2, L3 record. However, they registered a win in their previous away league contest (3-2 at Villarreal).
  • Celta’s seven away games have had a total of 27 goals scored. That gives them an average of 3.85 total goals scored per away contest.

Conclusion

Celta Vigo have shown they can score with the best of them, but their defence has been sub-par at the moment. Meanwhile. Barcelona have looked better and better. Through recent weeks, it seems their attack has been almost unstoppable.

Therefore, I believe the hosts will end up scoring over 2.5 goals in this match.

Verdict: Home side to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 7/20

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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