Barcelona/Vigo, Oct. 8 (EFE).- Barcelona must re-arm themselves morally after the fall against Inter Milan (1-0) and will have the opportunity to do so this Sunday (9:00 p.m. CET) against Celta de Vigo who will recover from Iago Aspas in the starting XI, before facing another decisive game against the Italians in the Champions League on Wednesday and playing the classic against Real Madrid next weekend.
The defeat in Milan left Xavi Hernández’s side ‘affected’ as it complicates their options for qualifying for the ‘Champions’ Round of 16 and because Barca’s match was far from the desired level.
Thus, a victory and a good performance by Barça on the eighth day of the Santander League against Celta who have just beaten Betis, in addition to allowing them to maintain their lead, would be a boost in morale for the duels to come.
The domestic competition is the field on which Barça feels comfortable at the start of the season. He is the leader with 19 points, has scored 19 goals (including 9 from Robert Lewandowski) and has only conceded 1. Marc-André Ter Stegen, who has accumulated 534 minutes without conceding a goal in the league, broke Mallorca (0-1) his unbeaten record.
But the game against Celta comes at the toughest moment for Barca so far this season. Beyond the doubts created by the defeat against Inter, the visit of Giusseppe Meazza brought another injury in the axis of the defense of Barça, Andreas Christensen, and another in the midfield, Franck Kessié.
Thus, the Dane joins the losses of two other central defenders, Jules Koundé and Ronald Araujo. As a result, against the Galician, Xavi will only have two centre-backs available from the first team: Eric Garcia and the reappearing Gerard Pique. Although Marcos Alonso could also fill the position if needed and 19-year-old branch centre-back Chadi Riad came into the call.
Moreover, in defence, he won’t be able to count on right-back Héctor Bellerín due to an injury. But in Milan, Sergi Roberto has already shown he is available again after overcoming his Achilles heel discomfort. The sixth loss Xavi will suffer against Celta, also due to injury, will be Memphis Depay.
Instead, the Barça coach recovers midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who suffered with the Netherlands during the national team’s break from an elongation of the semitendinosus of the left leg, an ailment for which he was released on Saturday. The Dutchman could have a place in the starting XI to rest Sergio Busquets, Pablo Páez ‘Gavi’ or Pedro González ‘Pedri’.
Barcelona’s attacking power and solidity at Camp Nou, where only Rayo Vallecano have managed to scrape a point from them, will mean another huge challenge for Celta, who will continue without coach Eduardo ‘Chacho’ Coudet, still in Argentina for a family reason. .
Barcelona’s La Liga numbers are frightening, but in the Celta dressing room they dream of repeating the feat of two years ago, when they stormed Barca’s stadium with a brace from Santi Mina. It’s a big challenge, but the return of Iago Aspas to the starting lineup and, above all, the very important European duel of his rival next Wednesday, make Celtics dream of victory.
Ariel Broggi, who will lead the team again due to Coudet’s absence, will field his gala squad, with Aspas as Norway’s Larsen’s team-mate in the lead and Argentinian Franco Cervi on the left side after serving a penalty against Betis.
Peru international Renato Tapia could be the other new addition in midfield, if the Argentine coach opts to rest Fran Beltrán to keep Gabri Veiga in the XI after scoring on the final day. Thus, former Barça players Carles Pérez and Óscar Mingueza, two of the summer reinforcements, will start on the bench when they return home.
– Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Eric Garcia, Pique, Balde; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Dembélé, Lewandowski and Ansu Fati.
-Celt of Vigo: Marchesín; Hugo Mallo, Aidoo, Unai Núñez, Javi Galán; Tapia or Beltran; Oscar Rodríguez, Gabri Veiga, Franco Cervi; Aspas and Larsen.
Positions: Barcelona (1st, 19 points), Celta de Vigo (11th, 10 points)
Stadium: Spotify Camp Nou
Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero (Andalusian Committee)
Time: 21 CET
The keys: Barca’s ability to react after the coup in Milan and how Xavi will manage his players’ efforts considering the two key games he faces next week.
Fact: Celta de Vigo have only managed to win three times at Camp Nou in the 60 games they have played there throughout their history. The last one was in the 2020-21 college year, when they won 1-2 in a league game.
Xavi Hernández: ‘Against Celta we will have the best eleven to win’
The environment: Over the past few days, Barca have been more aware of the hangover from the game against Inter, which left the Barca team in great referee outrage, and the entity’s numbers, which were presented to the Assembly of Compromising Partners on Thursday. this Sunday as the game against Celta.