- Copy link
FC Barcelona will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the Liga table on Sunday night at the Camp Nou (8.30pm CET). But as recent games against Celta show, the three points are anything but guaranteed.
It was confirmed on Saturday that neither the presence of Leo Messi nor of Arda Turan are in jeopardy for this game. Luis Enrique announced his 18-man squad on Sunday morning, as he welcomes back a host of regular starters who were rested for the Copa del Rey game at Valencia on Wednesday.
Celta do have things to worry about. Two Barça products, Andreu Fontàs and Nolito, have both been injured since late 2015, but to make matters worse, no fewer than four players (Iago Aspas, Fabián Orellana, Sergi Gómez and Theo Bongonda) are all suspended. It means that the travelling party includes four players from Celta B.
That doesn’t mean Luis Enrique is taking this game lightly. “We know that they are missing a lot of players, but their style of play remains the same" he said in his pre-game press conference. "They love to keep the ball and I think they can make life difficult for us … They are a dangerous opponent; bold, brave, dominating all facets of the game and are attractive to watch.”
As far as Celta boss Eduardo Berizzo is concerned, "the way to win, whoever plays, is by keeping to our identity. We need to press the right way to win the ball and get it moving vertically. If you do that at the Camp Nou you can create chances to score.”
There’s no arguing that Barça are a team on form. Incredible form! They’re currently on their longest unbeaten run in the history of Spanish football, which they could extend to an amazing thirty games on Sunday.
Celta were unbeaten after eight games this season, but things have tailed off dramatically since Christmas. After winning just one of their last seven games, they have dropped out of the Champions League chase and also crashed out of the Copa del Rey to Sevilla this week.
Luis Enrique joined Barça from Celta in the summer of 2014, but has lost two out of three meetings with his former club. Last season, Joaquín Larrivey scored the only goal of a rare Celta victory at the Camp Nou, and earlier this season, Celta were outstanding as they trounced Barça 4-1 at Balaídos.
- Copy link