By 90Min
December 20, 2018

La Liga leaders Barcelona host Celta Vigo on Saturday evening. The home side will be looking to increase their lead at the top of the table, with both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid only three points behind. 

Celta will be hoping to cause an upset to help their European aspirations, as they sit three points behind the Europa League places. Miguel Cardoso's side are unbeaten in their last three games, so it won't be an easy afternoon for the Catalan side. 

MB Media/GettyImages

Here's 90min's preview of the game. 


Where to Watch 

When is it Played? Saturday 22nd December
Where is it Played? Camp Nou
What Time is Kick Off? 17:30 (GMT)
TV Channel/Live Stream? Eleven Sports 2 UK

Team News

Rafinha and Samuel Umtiti remain long term absentees for Barca, with Rafinha suffering a season ending cruciate ligament injury and Umtiti succumbing to a knee problem. 

Umtiti's injury opens the door for fellow Frenchman Clement Lenglet to continue to deputise at centre half for the foreseeable future. 

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Malcolm, Sergi Samper and Sergi Roberto are all back in training following injuries, but right back Nelson Semedo is still a doubt after missing last weekend's win over Levante. 

As for Celta, they have no new injury concerns. Forward Nolito is closing in on a return to full fitness after a hamstring injury and could be involved in Saturday's game. 


Predicted Lineups

Barcelona Ter Stegen; Roberto, Lenglet, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; MessiSuarezDembele.
Celta Vigo Blanco; Mallo, Araujo, Costas, Junca; Mendez, Jozabed, Yokuslu, Boufal; Aspas. Gomez.

Head to Head Record

Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Whilst Barca usually have the edge when it comes to this fixture, Celta have shown multiple times that they are more than capable of getting a result against their more illustrious opponents. 

Out of 32 total games played, Barcelona have won 14, Celta have won eight, and ten matches have ended in a draw. 

Both league fixtures between the teams last season ended in 2-2 draws, although Barca ran out 6-1 aggregate winners in the Copa del Rey. 


Recent Form

Both sides enter the match in decent form. Celta are unbeaten in their last three league matches, winning twice, while Barcelona have only tasted defeat twice all season. 

Here's how both teams have fared in their last five matches: 

Barcelona Celta Vigo
Levante 0-5 Barcelona (16/12) Celta Vigo 0-0 Leganes (14/12)
Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham (11/12) Villarreal 2-3 Celta Vigo (8/12)
Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona (8/12) Real Sociedad 2-0 Celta Vigo (5/12)
Barcelona 4-1 Cultural Leonesa (5/12) Celta Vigo 2-0 Huesca (1/12)
Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal (2/12) Real Sociedad 2-1 Celta Vigo (26/11)

Prediction

While it won't be an easy task for the home side, Barcelona might just have too much for their opponents. 

Levante UD v FC Barcelona - La Liga

With Messi and Ousmane Dembele showing great form of late, Valverde's side will have too much firepower and the Celta defence will be in for a testing afternoon.

 

Prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Celta Vigo

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