The Sky Blues are only two points ahead of relegation places and they could drop down to the 18th position with a loss, so a defeat is not an option for the hosts. The game between Celta Vigo and Barcelona will take place at Estadio de Balaidos on May 4th, 2019.
Celta Vigo vs. Barcelona
Three-Way: 1: Celta +114; X: +260 Draw; 2: Barcelona +225 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread -0.5: Celta: +110; Barcelona -143
Total 2.5 goals: Over -139; Under +110
Three consecutive La Liga home wins have helped take Celta Vigo out of the relegation zone, although their top-flight status remains in the balance. Just one clean sheet in their last eight home games will be a concern to boss Fran Escriba, especially as his side come up against newly-crowned champions Barcelona who has scored in eight straight top-flight H2Hs held here.
The hosts possess the division’s third-worst defense, having conceded an average of 1.63 goals per match. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Celta has seen both teams score in a league-high 62.86% of their LL matches this term – as well as in six of their last eight home games, and the last four competitive H2Hs held at the Estadio de Balaidos.
Fran Escriba doesn’t have any new injury-related concerns but Iago Aspas (shoulder), David Junca (groin), Hugo Mallo (foot), and Emre Mor (ankle) are listed as questionable to face Barca.
- Celta lost nine of the 11 league games Iago Aspas missed this season; however, since returning from injury six matches ago, the Celta talisman has been directly involved in 12 goals (six goals, six assists)
- Four of Celta’s six LL home defeats have come by a one-goal margin
With the title wrapped up and a Champions League game ahead, Barca could play a vastly different squad compared to the side that’s guided them to just one away defeat this term (W11, D5, L1), and has netted an average of 2.18 goals per LL away match.
Yet despite that, more of Barca’s top-flight away games have ended goalless at half-time (29.41%) than any other scoreline, although the visitors have scored in both halves in 41.18% of their LL road trips.
The Blaugrana didn’t impress against Liverpool in the opening leg of the Champions League semis but they scored three goals and luckily conceded none, which is giving them a massive advantage prior to the returning leg.
Ernesto Valverde cannot count on Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic who are both suspended for this game, while Rafinha is out with a knee injury. Barca’s boss will likely decide to rest several key players such as Messi, Suarez, and Coutinho, so we can expect to see Boateng, Malcom, and Dembele up front.
- Ousmane Dembele will hope to add to his eight LL goals this term – five of those were netted after half-time
- Barcelona won nine of the 11 top-flight away games where they netted the opening goal (W9, D1, L1)
Barcelona won five out of the previous ten H2H encounters (D3, L2) including two of the last three, while the Sky Blues were victorious in two of the past four meetings at Estadio de Balaidos. In fact, Barcelona is without a win in their last four visits here and I don’t think they will get a victory this time around. Barca’s second unit proved to be not good enough which was evident in a 0-0 road match with the bottom-placed Huesca and they failed to get a win here lately even with the strongest eleven, and I am going with the hosts here.
MY PICK: Celta Vigo (+114)
ADDITIONAL PICK: Even seven of the last nine H2H duels produced at least three goals and I am not convinced the weakened Barcelona side will be able to keep the hosts away from their goal. Celta managed to score two or more goals against Barcelona in seven of the previous eight matches at home and that’s why I am going with over 2.5 here.
MY PICK: Over 2.5 (-139)