Barcelona - Celta Vigo predictions and free betting tips [23/09/2023]
On Saturday, 23rd of September, as part of the 6th tour of the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona will welcome Celta Vigo on their home field. Xavier’s charges have collected 13 points in five matches and occupy the second position in the table, while Celta sit in the 16th spot with four points to their name.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde; Gundogan, F de Jong, Gavi; Yamal, Lewandowski, Felix.
Celta: Villar; U Nunez, Starfelt, Dominguez; Mingueza, Beltran, De la Torre, Ristic; Douvikas, Aspas, Bamba.
The match will take place in Barcelona at the Olimpico Stadium.
Tuesday night saw the reigning Spanish champions kick off their Champions League campaign in style by trouncing Royal Antwerp 5:0. The match held significant importance for the Blaugrana, who had previously been knocked out of the main continental championship at the group stage on two occasions and are, undoubtedly, determined to break this bleak streak. In La Liga, Barcelona kicked off with a stalemate against Getafe (0:0), but then managed to secure four victories: a home win over Cadiz (2:0), away victories against Villarreal (3:4), Osasuna (1:2) and this past weekend's beatdown of Betis (5:0). The Catalonian side has three rounds remaining in the league - against Celta, Mallorca, and Sevilla- before heading to Porto for the second group stage match of the Champions League.
Prodigious Pedri is still recovering from an injury, and it is expected that he won't return to action until the second half of the month. Yet things are looking up as key centre-back Araujo has resumed training with the main squad, and summer recruit Inigo Martinez is expected to start. Robert Lewandowski (La Liga's top scorer last season), Joao Felix (scored against Betis, on loan from Atletico), Cancelo (netted against Betis, on loan from Manchester City), Ferran Torres (3 goals in 4 La Liga appearances at season start) and winger Rafinha (7 goals, 7 assists in La Liga last season) are also expected to be in the starting XI on Saturday. The team also boasts promising 16-year old Amin Yamal and experienced midfielders Gundogan, Gavi, and De Jong. Alejandro Balde, who just signed a new long-term contract with the Catalan club, will play as a left back.
Celta Vigo got off to a rocky start this season. Right before the international break, the Galicians managed to bounce back from two home losses against Osasuna (0:2) and Real Madrid (0:1), claiming all three points on the road against Almeria (2:3). Nevertheless, this past weekend, Celta stumbled again, losing 0:1 at home against a Mallorca team which is also experiencing troubles. The Sky Blues are now in the 16th spot in the table, just a single point clear of the relegation zone. Last year, the visitors secured a solid 13th place in the table, earning them their 12th consecutive appearance in La Liga. However, this season, Celta have only scored four times, and their main forward, 36-year-old Iago Aspas, hasn't found the back of the net yet.
Haris Seferovic left the club at the end of last season (Benfica, once again on loan), and Gabi Veiga (11 goals, 4 assists last season) moved to the Saudi Arabia League this summer. As a 'bonus': Rafa Benitez will have to do without injured midfielder Franco Cervi, whose return isn't expected until October. Norway's Larsen (4 goals, 4 assists last season) and former Lille forward Jonathan Bamba (6 goals, 7 assists in Ligue 1 last season), who hasn’t got on the scoresheet in Spain yet, are all set to be on the teamsheet. Benitez is unlikely to reshuffle the pack much, although there could be a tweak in attack with Tasos Douvikas vying for a starting spot.
Head to Head
Last season, Barcelona clinched a 1:0 victory over Celta at Camp Nou. However, on the final weekend of the 2022-23 campaign, Celta turned the tables and won 2:1 in Vigo.
Match Prediction: Barcelona vs Celta Vigo
Barça has a good chance of securing its fifth consecutive La Liga victory, which would see them temporarily retake control of the league table, pending the result of Real's derby against Atletico on Sunday evening. Celta have had a rough start to the season and are yet to find their rhythm under Benitez. It is doubtful that they will be able to stand against Barcelona's powerful front line. My prediction is a Barcelona win with a -1.5 handicap.
In their last four matches, Barça have scored an impressive 16 goals. Given their bevy of attacking talents, it would come as no surprise if the hosts score more than two times on Saturday.
Corner Kick Prediction
Barça, being the superior side, will dominate throughout the match. I have no doubts that the hosts will win on corner kicks with a -1.5 handicap.
Yellow Card Prediction
Celta will be forced to commit plenty of fouls in order to stifle Barcelona's potent strike force. The visitors are likely to edge the yellow card count.
I am betting on a final 3:0 victory in favour of Barcelona.
Spain - La Liga