Picking the Best Potential Barcelona Lineup to Face Celta Vigo on Tuesday

??Celta Vigo and Barcelona clash in La Liga on Tuesday with the away side looking to wrap up the title, while he hosts will be looking to secure three points to pile the pressure on Villarreal in the hunt for the final Europa League spot in the table.

Here’s who Ernesto Valverde could pick:

Torhüter

  • Ter Stegen

    Ter Stegen1

?The ?German goalkeeper should keep his place in the Barcelona starting eleven.

Verteidigung

  • Semedo

    Semedo2

  • Vermaelen

    Vermaelen25

  • Umtiti

    Umtiti23

  • Jordi Alba

    Jordi Alba18

??Nelson Semedo and Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen are expected to get starts in defence as Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto will be rested, after playing every minute of Barcelona’s last few matches.

?Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba should stay in the starting lineup with the two hoping to continue their impressive form this season.

Mittelfeld

  • Dembélé

    Dembélé11

  • Busquets

    Busquets5

  • Paulinho

    Paulinho15

  • Coutinho

    Coutinho14

?Barcelona will be without Ivan Rakitic as the Croatian midfielder is suffering from a broken finger, so Paulinho should come in for him in central midfield. Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele should start on the flanks, with Andres Iniesta rested.

With the experienced Spanish midfielder, Sergio Busquets expected to take the final spot in Barcelona’s midfield four.

Sturm

  • Messi

    Messi10

  • Suárez

    Suárez9

Lionel Messi and ?Luis Suarez is expected to start upfront for the Catalan giants on Tuesday, with Paco Alcacer not really in Valverde’s plan.

?Lionel Messi has found the back of the net 29 times and added a further 12 assists in the 29 league matches he has played so far this season, while his strike partner has found the back of the net 23 times, also adding six assists to his total. 

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Celta Vigo vs Barcelona Preview: Key Battle, Team News, Prediction & More

Celta Vigo and ?Barcelona clash in La Liga on Tuesday with the away side looking to wrap up the title, while the hosts will be looking to secure three points ?to pile the pressure on Villarreal in the hunt for the final Europa League spot in the table.

Celta Vigo missed the opportunity to close the gap with Villarreal for the final Europa League spot after their 1-0 away loss to Leganes on the weekend, with the side from Vigo sitting in 8th place and five points behind the side in sixth.

Barcelona made amends for their surprise Champions League exit to Roma with a ?2-1 win against Valencia on Saturday. The Catalan giants sit 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid, and the Catalans can win La Liga title with three wins from their remaining six games.

Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Copa Del Rey

??Barcelona can even wrap up the title before the El Clasico on the 6th of May if Atletico drops points in their next two matches; however, the Catalan side need to get the win against Celta Vigo first.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this clash at the Balaidos:


Key Battle

Sergi Gomez vs Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga

With both of Tuesday’s sides looking the dominate the ball and play beautiful football in the matches they’ve played this season, it will come down to who does it better when they have got the ball in the match – and not many teams do that better than ?Barcelona.

With Celta Vigo losing their leader and captain from suspension most of the key defensive responsibility will fall to the shoulders of their defender, Sergi Gomez. Gomez’s main concern will be, as always, keeping Barcelona’s ?Lionel Messi quiet.

In Gomez, Celta Vigo has someone who came through the Barcelona academy and has impressed since joining the side from Vigo in 2014 making 87 La Liga appearances for Vigo in the process. ?The Spanish defender has been one of Vigo’s best performers this season playing 27 times in the league and scoring once in the process.

RC Celta v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Up against the Spanish defender is one of world football’s best, if not the best, as the 26 year-old faces ?Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for the third time this season, as the two previously met in the Copa del Rey and in the league.

The ?30 year-old Argentinian attacker has found the back of the net 29 times and added a further 12 assists in the 29 league matches he has played so far this season – meaning the incredible Argentine sit on top of both the goalscoring and assist charts for the season.

Gomez will play a key part in trying to stop the seemingly unbeatable Barcelona side and if he can disrupt Barcelona’s fluid interchanging style of play, which ?Messi plays a big part in, the side from Vigo might just come up with a upset on Tuesday.


Team News

?Juan Carlos Unzue’s Celta will be without his captain Hugo Mallo and influential midfielder Pablo Hernandez due to suspension. As a result, Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in central midfield. Facundo Roncaglia should slot in at right back in place of Mallo, with Gustavo Cabral slotting in at centre back.

Barcelona will be without ?Ivan Rakitic as the Croatian midfielder is suffering from a broken finger, so Paulinho should come in for him in central midfield. Nelson Semedo and Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen are expected to get starts in defence. Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele should start on the flanks, with ?Andres Iniesta rested.

Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Copa Del Rey

Celta, who lost in their last match against Leganes, will be hoping the form of inspirational striker ?Iago Aspas could see them past their rivals on Tuesday with the side from Vigo desperate for the three points to continue their quest for European dream.


Potential Celta Vigo Starting Lineup: Alvarez; Jonny, Sergi Gomez, Cabral, Ronacaglia; Sisto, Lobotka, Radoja, Wass; Aspas, Maxi Gomez.

Potential Barcelona Starting Lineup: Ter Stegen; Alba, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Semedo; Coutinho, Paulinho, Busquets, Dembele; Suarez, Messi.


Prediction

FBL-ESP-CUP-BARCELONA-CELTA

Barcelona are unbeaten in the last four competitive meetings with Celta Vigo with 2 wins and 2 draws, and are undefeated in their last 39 matches – breaking La Liga’s record for the longest unbeaten period after their 2-1 victory over Valencia on Satuday.

Celta Vigo have lost just one of their last four La Liga matches, with Unzue’s men right in the mix for a Europa League finish, with the hosts unbeaten in their last seven home outings at Balaidos.

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However, Celta won the last two La Liga home fixtures against Barcelona – 4-3 last season and 4-1 in the season before. ??Celta took their unbeaten home streak against Barcelona to 3 games with a 1-1 draw when these teams met in the Copa del Rey in January, but Barcelona has scored at least once in their last eight visits to the Balaidos.

Prediction: Celta Vigo 0-2 Barcelona

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Christian Eriksen Linked to Barcelona as Football Agent Reportedly Reveals Daniel Levy Talks

Tottenham Hotspur maestro Christian Eriksen has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona once again, after an agent reportedly held talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and visited the Dane’s house back in September. 

According to Danish paper BT (via ?Sports Witness), Eriksen’s future has been clouded in uncertainty ever since football agent Bayram Tutumlu – who isn’t even the Spurs star’s agent – had spoken to the media about being able to get Eriksen a move to ‘a bigger club’ 

Tutumlu said: “I was invited to see Christian Eriksen in London in September, even though he was having a renovation of the house, and here he asked me what to do to get to a bigger club.

I told him that a bigger club wants him. 

“When I visited Barcelona with my associate Evren Sahin and Brøndby’s owner Jan Bech Andersen, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that Christian Eriksen became the next big player from Denmark after Michael Laudrup. So I told Eriksen that Barcelona wants him.”

Eriksen’s agent is in fact Martin Schoots, who it appears is the victim of an attempt to be pushed aside by Tutumlu in order to allow the Dane a move to Spain in easier circumstances. Tutumlu is adamant that Schoots is blocking the player’s chances of a move to a bigger club, and is intent on taking the reigns in deciding Eriksen’s future. 

Tutumlu also added: “I also told Christian Eriksen that Barcelona is looking at more things when buying a player, not just his football qualities. And it ended with the fact that they bought Coutinho instead. 

“This is because alone, his agent (Martin Schoots) has destroyed it for him.

“But I’m still talking with Christian Eriksen, and I’ve told him that if he wants a bigger club, it’s not going to happen through that agent. I do not want to mention his agent’s name because it hurts me as much as he has ruined Christian Eriksen.”

Tutumlu has also claimed that Ajax star Kasper Dolberg has had his chances of a big move scuppered in the past, whilst also claiming that former Liverpool star Daniel Agger missed out on a dream move; mainly due to the player’s fathers. 

The interfering football agent also said: “Fortunately for Christian Eriksen, his father is a good guy who does not interfere in his career, such as Kasper Dolberg’s father does. 

“Everything was ready for Kasper Dolberg to switch to a big Spanish club, but his father destroyed it. His father hurt him a lot. But I have warned Christian Eriksen to not make the same mistake as Daniel Agger.

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“It may be that the football world is huge for you, but it’s just a handful for me. I can find him a good club, as I have done with Michael Laudrup. I have also met with Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy a month ago, so I know what it takes for Christian Eriksen to move on.”

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8 Things Barcelona Fans Need to Know About Emerging Defensive Star Dayot Upamecano

RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano has emerged as a rumoured target for Barcelona, with the Catalan giants reportedly willing to spend as much as €100m on the youngster.

Upamecano has since also revealed that he would consider Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United as ‘dream’ clubs to join, furthering speculation that he could be set for a high profile move in the not too distant future.

With that in mind, here’s a look at eight things to know about this rapidly rising talent…  

8. Leipzig Is Not His First Red Bull Club

Upamecano joined RB Leipzig in January 2017, but he was already at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and had been since signing from Valencienne’s youth team 18 months earlier in 2015 for a reported €2.2m fee.

Given his potential, that he went to Germany for just €10m proved to be good business.  

7. He’s Been Playing Senior Football Since 16

Upon arriving in Austria, Upamecano was sent to Salzburg’s feeder club, Liefering. 

He made his senior bow in the Austrian second tier in July 2015 – three months before his 17th birthday – and would go on to play 16 times for the team over the course of the 2015/16 campaign.

During his time with Liefering, Upamecano also turned out for Salzburg in the UEFA Youth League. That same season he was even named on the bench for two Austrian Bundesliga clashes with Austria Vienna that and went on to feature twice in other league games.

6. The Big Boys Were Interested From the Start

Back when Upamecano was still playing youth football at Valenciennes in 2015 in his native France, it was reported by French publication L’Equipe that Manchester United had offered him a contract to move to Old Trafford.

Manchester City and Marseille were both also said to be keeping tabs on him around that time.

Ultimately, however, he felt that first team action would be more immediately accessible at Salzburg and chose to go there instead.

5. He’s Still Just a Teenager

Upamecano has been in the headlines for three years already and yet he’s still just a teenager and will continue to be so until he celebrates his 20th birthday in October, six months away.

Despite that, the France Under-21 international has played in 24* of Leipzig’s 29 Bundesliga games this season, starting 22 of them. He also played five times in the Champions League group stage and has been heavily involved in the Europa League knockout rounds.  

4. He Has a Mega Release Clause

The €100m (£87m) figure being thrown around is the reported release clause that Upamecano has in his current contract with Leipzig, a deal which runs until the summer of 2021.

Depending on Leipzig’s determination to keep hold of him, as well as Upamecano’s ambitions himself, it may be that any suitor has to trigger that clause in order to prise him away.

As things stands, moving for that price would make him the most expensive defender of all-time, surpassing Virgil van Dijk’s £75m move to Liverpool in January.  

3. He Is Very Quick

Pace is a major attribute of Upamecano’s, while he is versatile and technically able enough to also perform in a defensive midfield position as well as his typical centre-back role.

He did precisely that on occasion in Salzburg, which will make him even more appealing to coaches who increasinlgly like every member of their team to be comfortable in possession.

2. He Is Close Friends With Ousmane Dembele

Upamencano is only marginally younger than €145m Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele and the pair grew up playing together in the Normandy town of Evreux.

Speaking in February 2017 shortly after arriving in Germany, the defender described Dembele as a ‘wonderful friend and footballer’ and explained that they were in regular contact and paying each other visits now they were back in the same country.

Whether that closeness works in Barcelona’s favour to reunite Upamecano with his friend at Camp Nou is certainly something to keep an eye on in the coming months.

He is also friends with Naby Keita at Leipzig, also a former colleague at Salzburg and one of few in the squad who could communicate with Upamecano in French when he arrived. That may be of interest to Liverpool fans, given Keita’s pre-planned arrival at Anfield this summer.  

1. He Remains Incredibly Humble

Upamecano has not been affected by his rapid rise to an elite level at such a young age. Instead, he remains humble and incredibly grateful for the opportunities he has had so far.

That attitude should ensure he continues on this path to stardom.

“I am very grateful and glad that I made it this far and know that all this is not self-evident. After all, I know many of my friends and companions who just have not got into professional football and really wanted it,” the player said in an interview with Sportbuzzer.  

*figure accurate on date on publication

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Barcelona Icon Andrés Iniesta Insists Adoring Fans Won’t Change His Mind as China Exit Looms Large

?Barcelona’s veteran midfielder Andrés Iniesta has claimed that the adoration of his club’s fans won’t play a part in his decision over whether or not to leave the Camp Nou in the summer, as rumours of a summer move to China intensify.

Speaking after his side’s 2-1 win over Valencia, via Marca, the 33-year-old said: “I have the support of the fans, but it isn’t something that will change my mind. I know what I’m going to do with my future.”

The dynamic midfielder is hotly tipped to end his career with a big money move to China, with a number of top flight teams believed to be willing to give the Spanish legend a lucrative contract to finish his career. Iniesta has spent his whole career to date with the Catalan giants, and many of the club’s fans are disappointed by the prospect of him leaving in the summer.

The seasoned midfielder has spent much of the season playing on the left wing, despite spending much of his career as a central midfielder. Iniesta will be eager to end his spell with Barça by winning his ninth La Liga title with the club – an honour to sit alongside five Copa Del Rey and four Champions Leagues, as well as one World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.


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In other news, ?a sensational report from Spain has claimed that Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has held secret talks with Real Madrid, ahead of a switch to the Bernabéu in the summer. The French international is thought to have a £53m release clause in his contract, and his currently locked in contract talks with his side as a number of potential suitors wait in the wings.

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