Connect with us

Match Previews

Fermin, Pedri start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona should line up against Celta Vigo

Published

on

Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Granada once again proved to be too much for Barcelona to handle last weekend as they could only muster up a 3-3 draw. The Catalans have now not beaten the Andalusian outfit for three years, but they do not have time to dwell on the past right now.

With games coming hard and fast, Barcelona’s next goal will be to get back to winning ways as they lock horns against Celta Vigo at the Municipal de Balaidos tomorrow.

This fixture has proven to be particularly a task for the blaugranes in the last few years, with only one win away to Celta in nine(!) years — a 0-3 win on matchday four of the 2020/21 season.

In fact, Barça have conceded 20 goals against Celta in their last ten games, having scored 17 themselves. This includes some incredible blockbusters such as the 3-3 draw in 2021, the 2-2 draw in 2018, the 4-3 loss and 4-1 loss in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

It is a fixture that promises goals, and one that neutrals love to tune into. With Celta only three points above the relegation zone, can they promise another upset or will Barcelona finally trump their bogey team.

Ahead of this game, BU looks at how Barcelona should lineup tomorrow.

Defence: Araujo returns?

Marc-Andre ter Stegen had a rather poor welcome back to life between the sticks for Barcelona last weekend as the team conceded three. The German looked far from match fit, too, and could be blamed for at least two goals.

Either way, his place as the goalkeeper is not in question, but for tomorrow, Ronald Araujo should be back in the starting lineup. The Uruguayan was rested vs Granada, but Barcelona will need him at his sharpest for the Napoli clash.

We hope to see Inigo Martinez continue, with Pau Cubarsi getting a break. The 17-year-old should not be starting a UCL knockout tie yet, which is why Xavi will hope the Spaniard can rediscover his pre-injury form and chemistry with Araujo.

Inigo was in spectacular form pre-injury. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Joao Cancelo was once again one of the better players on the pitch last weekend, and should get the nod at left-back, while Jules Kounde starts as the right-back.

Midfield: Gundogan should rest

Ilkay Gundogan has been Barcelona’s player of the season. Not only is he among the only two players left in the squad not to have picked up an injury, but his performances have also been consistently tremendous.

However, the German should be rested ahead of the big game against Napoli.

Instead, Pedri should be dropped back after playing several minutes as the left-winger. He can take over the responsibility of controlling the game from Gundo, while Frenkie de Jong retains his place as the first-receiver.

After successive starts as the holding midfielder, Andreas Christensen seems to have nailed down that spot for now, and will almost definitely be given the nod for the Celta clash too.

Attack: Rest Yamal, start Raphinha

It may sound like a bad idea given his recent performances, but there is no way Lamine Yamal should be starting another potentially intense game. He has already played 606 minutes in less than a month, and should be protected.

And while Barcelona may drop points without him, losing him to an injury will be much worse.

Instead, Raphinha should be trusted as the right-winger. The Brazilian is back from a month-long layoff and will be looking to prove his worth to Xavi and co. with a solid showing tomorrow.

Robert Lewandowski will get the nod to continue as the striker, but we expect and hope to see Fermin Lopez start this game as the left-winger. The Spaniard’s explosiveness and off-the-ball movement will be crucial in finding holes in the Celta defence.

Fermin · Lewandowski · Raphinha
de Jong · Christensen · Pedri
Cancelo · Inigo · Araujo · Kounde
ter Stegen

Off-the-bench

Should he not start in the first place, Lamine Yamal could definitely get some minutes tomorrow, especially if Barcelona need a goal at any point in the game.

Similarly, Xavi also has the services of Marc Guiu and Vitor Roque on the bench, who can provide some much-needed offensive depth to the team. The latter can even slot in as the left-winger if need be.

Ilkay Gundogan will definitely be in contention to come off-the-bench if he is rested by Fermin Lopez.

Xavi could also look to protect Christensen by brining on Oriol Romeu, who is back from injury and in the travelling list for the Celta clash.

Trending Articles