Barça and Celta seek extra pay

Barça and Celta seek extra pay


FC Barcelona receives Celta de Vigo this Tuesday at the Camp Nou (21.30) on matchday 36 of LaLiga Santander, a competition in which both achieved their ‘minimum goals’ the previous day and are now looking for an extra prize, with the added to know if the Celtians will be able to repeat the assault from a campaign ago.

There is no pressure to suffocate either Barça or Celta in these last three days. Barça, when Xavi Hernández took charge of the team in November, was in such bad shape that the goal was to get the ticket to the next Champions League no matter what.

Without the ‘Champions’ in progress, also making it impossible to get a ticket for ‘track B’ of the Europa League, the team set itself the challenge of finishing in the top four and with the agonizing and veteran victory against Real Betis (1-2 ), with Jordi Alba’s volley to Dani Alves’ cross, that “minimum” objective was achieved.

Now, Xavi is looking for the extra prize of the runner-up. This would also put them in the next Spanish Super Cup and give them the option of one more title. To do this, winning games at the Camp Nou is paramount. And even more so against Celta who attacked him last year (1-2). If against Betis they achieved a rematch, now it is possible to chain a second.

Opposite will be a Celta in a similar situation. Eduardo Coudet’s men started the course so badly that they set themselves the goal of sealing permanence. And the improvement in play and results allowed them to do so with three games to go, with a resounding 4-0 against Alavés in Balaídos.

It is impossible for them to go to Europe, although if they stay two days they could rather fight for it. But their extra prize is to win what remains, including a new assault on a Camp Nou where they enjoyed, and a lot, not so long ago. Those of Coudet know that winning in Barcelona would put the icing on the cake.

Thus, two calmer teams, but not relaxed or on vacation, will fight to earn that extra pay. Or at least, to face it. Celta’s last away defeat was close, at Espanyol’s RCDE Stadium, and they won’t want their fans based in Barcelona or Catalonia to suffer again. More reason not to drop from this League.

And, for Barça, in addition to that future Super Cup and the runner-up finish –which is worth little or nothing–, honor is at stake. At Barça you always have to fight to win, and the first to repeat that mantra is the coach himself. Burying last year’s 1-2, and forgetting the 3-3 of the first round with Ronald Koeman on the bench are two challenges for Xavi’s Barça of the present.

The one from Terrassa will not be able to count on Sergio Busquets, sanctioned, and he does not have an ideal replacement. The logical thing is that Frenkie de Jong takes his place, although the Dutchman performs closer to the rival area. But having achieved the ticket to the ‘Champions’ gives room to see ‘forgotten’ players, like Riqui Puig. What yes seems clear, after the indisposition and absence of him in Seville, is the return of Ter Stegen to the goal.

For its part, Celta de Coudet arrives with the absences of Hugo Mallo, fractured patella, and Santi Mina, separated from the team after his court ruling. In addition, Nolito, due to his adductor injury last day, and Carlos Domínguez are absent at the last minute.



FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Dani Alves, Araujo, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; F. Of Jong, Gavi, Riqui Puig; Adama, Aubameyang and Dembele.

CELTIC OF VIGO: Dituro; Kevin, Aidoo, Araujo, Javi Galan; Fran Beltrán, Brais Méndez, Denis Suárez, Cervi; Iago Aspas and Galhardo.

–REFEREE: Ortiz Arias (C. Madrid).

–STADIUM: Camp Nou.

–TIME: 9:30 p.m./Movistar LaLiga.

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