But there are plenty of reasons to view Saturday’s game at Balaídos as much more than a mere formality, and here are three of them.
Maintain unbeaten away record
With an 11-5-1 record and 38 points in total, the Catalans have the best away record in the competition. We have to go all the way back to 26 September 2018 to find our last defeat on the road, that chilly night at Leganés that ended 2-1 to the home side.
There have been 14 away games in La Liga since then and Barça have not been defeated once, but this Saturday they will be visiting a ground where they have not won in the last three attempts. Time to set that record straight…
Win at Balaídos
Following 4-1 and 4-3 losses in Vigo, last season’s league encounter ended 2-2. Not since the 2014/15 season with Luis Enrique in charge have Barça won at Celta, 1-0, and yet it’s a ground where the team has traditionally picked up three points on a regular basis – there were four wins and a draw in the period prior to this ‘bump’.
Valverde form against Celta
If we are going to beat Celta, then Ernesto is the man to guide us there. In sixteen games against the Galicians over the years he has never been defeated. As manager of Athletic Club he achieved seven wins and three draws, and with Barça he has one win and two draws. He also won both his games against Celta as boss of Espanyol and one when he was at Valencia.