After announcing the most expensive hiring of its history, Barcelona seeks on Thursday, January 11, its survival in the fight for the bicampeonato of the Glass of the King of Spain in its edition 2017/2018. At the Camp Nou, they host Celta in the return leg of the round of 16. The game is scheduled for 18:30 (Brasilia time).
In the first match in Vigo, there was a tie by 1 to 1. This means that the Catalan team will advance in case of victory or equality without goals. The visitors guarantee their passage to the quarterfinals if they win or get a draw for two or more goals. Repeat 1 to 1 takes dispute for the extension and if there was need decision by penalties.
Barcelona’s recent performance
Although the confrontation on Thursday is important, the most talked about issue in Barça during the week was not preparation for the match, but rather the hiring of Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho. To achieve the player, the team of Catalonia has disbursed 160 million euros. The almost $ 600 million have made the acquisition the most expensive in the club’s history.
Coutinho, however, will not be able to play Celta. Although there was time for the registration to be made, the athlete arrived bruised and should about 20 days away from the lawns so he can recover.
Thus, coach Ernesto Valverde will have to turn around with what he already had in his squad to face the Vigo team. It is no small thing. With the current squad, Barça unbeaten leads the Spanish Championship and has qualified with a play to the round of 16 of the Champions League.
On Sunday, January 7, also in Camp Nou, Barcelona passed the Levante without major difficulties. He scored 3-0 and got 48 points (15 wins and three draws). He has nine advantage in comparison with Atletico Madrid, vice-leader.
In the first game, Valverde did not put all his starters on the field to face Celta. It may be that they give some athletes a break this Thursday, leaving them on the reserve bench so they can only enter in case of extreme need. This could mean an opportunity for Frenchman Ousmane Dembelé (three matches in the Spanish 2017/2018 Championship, without a goal) to play for the first time a whole match since returning from the injury.
After more than three months away, the former Borussia Dortmund player returned to the pitch at the match in Vigo. Acted for about 20 minutes. Against Leganés, played 66 minutes before being replaced by Semedo.
In the Sunday duel, Valverde opted to climb the team with three strikers. In front of the Celta, you can return to training with two front men and four midfielders. In that case, he would have the opportunity to give Messi a break (18 games, 16 goals) or Suárez (15 games, 11 goals).
Out of action, due to injury, are defender Samuel Umtiti (12 games, no goal); the socks Gerard Deulofeu (nine games, one goal) and Arda Turan (without performances); and striker Paco Alcacer (eight games, two goals).
The current form of Celta
Celta will complete its gaming season on Thursday. She started in the first leg against Barcelona and had Real Madrid as their rival on Sunday, January 7. For the Spanish Championship, also tied with the team of the capital. The home side put themselves ahead 2 – 2 after an attack from the right, caused by a defensive blunder.
Although the tie against the two-time world champion and Europe can not be considered a bad result, did not improve much the situation of Celta in the classification of the Spanish Championship. With 22 points (six wins, four draws and eight losses), the team occupies the fourteenth place. The difference for Villarreal, sixth place and closes the block of classified for European tournaments, is six points.
The coach Juan Carlos Unzue has all his cast available. No players are injured or suspended.
History of the matches Barcelona vs Celta
This will be the third meeting involving the teams in just over a month. At the beginning of December, in Barcelona, for the Spanish Championship, there was equality in 2 to 2. Then in the first leg of the King’s Cup, in January, a new tie, this time by 1 to 1.
Barcelona has shown an immense consistency in their performances. Although he does not often play lush football, he has been unbeaten for 27 games. There were 21 victories and six equalities in a period started at the end of August. That way, working from home, it’s the best option for a guess this Thursday. It has a price of 1.17 in Rivalo. Draw returns 7.50. Victory of the Vigo team pays 13.00 for each real invested.