FC Barcelona are set to take on Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey 2018 round of 16 tie first leg game on Thursday night, 04 January 2018 which will be their first game after winter break in spain. Barcelona will have a busy period from now to end of the season and they will be looking to wrap up the tie in first leg if possible. Celta Vigo has given Barcelona hard time over the last few games they have faced each other and it will be another tough task for the Catalunya side.
FC Barcelona 5-0 Celta Vigo – March 2017
[ Spanish La Liga 2017 Match ]
24′ 1 – 0 Lionel Messi scores with an absolute peach of a finish from just inside the box as Barcelona took the lead in 24th minute.
40′ 2 – 0 Neymar produced a wonder chip to finish off a fine move where Messi played him through on goal to make it 2-0
57′ 3 – 0 Ivan Rakitic
61′ 4 – 0 Samuel Umtiti
FC Barcelona might go into the game trailing by 4 and 2 points of Real Madrid and Atletico who are playing earlier in the day. This is a crucial weekend in Spanish football after which there is a international break and its vital for all three top teams to pickup wins to keep the pace at the top. Barcelona has shown signs of struggle away from home this season and without Lionel Messi they will have to be at top of their game.
Celta Vigo 4-3 FC Barcelona – 02 October 2017
[ English Premier League 2016-17 ]
22′ 1 – 0 Pione Sisto scored in 22nd minute to give Celta a surprise lead but it was not a surprise minutes later as Celta put themselves in commanding position.
31′ 2 – 0 Iago Aspas made it 2-0 at half hour mark as Barcelona were left shellshocked.
33′ 3 – 0 Jeremy Mathieu own goal pilled more misery on Messi less barcelona.
58′ 3 – 1 Gerard Pique
64′ 3 – 2 Neymar
77′ 4 – 2 Pablo Hernandez
87′ 4 – 3 Gerard Pique
Team News & Lineups: Barcelona rested number of first team players in the midweek copa del rey second leg of semifinal against Valencia but they will have most of the players back with Messi, Neymar and Suarez all fit and raring to go. Lionel Messi and Arda Turan were doubtful for this game but both have been included in the 18-man squad for the Celta Vigo fixture.
Celta Vigo on the other hand has massive selection problems with Andreu Fontàs and Nolito both ruled out due to injuries while yellow/red card suspensions of as many as four players leave Celta Vigo pretty much under-strength going into the match.
Celta Vigo has been pretty impressive specially away from home where they have won 5 games and lost only 4 and they currently sit 7th in the table with 35 points. Barcelona can go 3 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand if they can get another home win this sunday night. This is how I expect both teams to lineup.
Match Predictions: Playing at home Barcelona are unbeaten this season winning 11 of the 12 games so far and with Celta Vigo struggling with injuries and suspensions I can not see any other result than Barcelona winning comfortably. I am going with a 4-0 win for the home side.