Junior Firpo is set to come in for the injured Jordi Alba while Luis Suarez is back to fitness ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Celta Vigo at Camp Nou.
Barcelona will be determined to get back to winning ways when they welcome relegation-threatened Celta Vigo to Camp Nou on Saturday. Ernesto Valverde’s men have struggled to find their rhythm after consecutive disappointing resulst coming their way this week.
Valverde will miss a few players but the list is not long as the medical team have handed a major boost, declaring Luis Suarez available for the match. Suarez, who was taken off after a calf problem in their 3-1 loss against Levante, has returned to training and Valverde has included the Uruguayan in the 19-man squad for the Celta Vigo clash.
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Jordi Alba, who pulled his hamstring in the game against Slavia Prague, is set to miss out. In his stead, summer signing Junior Firpo is likely to start as the left-back against Celta. Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet are set to be the two centre-backs starting the game with Sergi Roberto playing on the right side, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen mans the goal.
Sergio Busquets and Frenkie De Jong are regulars in midfield for Barcelona and it will remain that way against Celta. Another boost for Barcelona comes from the fact that Arthur Melo is back in the squad after being dropped for the Slavia game with Valverde revealing that the Brazilian midfielder was carrying a knock.
“It was my decision. He did take a little knock. The first time I dropped him was because he was carrying an injury, but the other day it was my decision to leave him out,” the manager said in his pre-match presser (h/t Barca Blaugranes). Arthur should return to the starting XI on Saturday, replacing Arturo Vidal as the third central midfielder.
With Ousmane Dembele struggling against Slavia earlier in the week, 17-year-old sensation Ansu Fati may get the nod ahead of him in attack on Saturday. Antoine Griezmann will be in search for momentum in the final third after a poor outing in the Champions League. He is likely to be given another opportunity to come good by the manager.
It will be a risky move if Luis Suarez is included in the starting lineup as it may be too early for him to get back into action and it may have an adverse effect which can later haunt Barcelona. Speaking of the Uruguayan striker, manager Valverde said: “We think he may be ready, but let’s wait for training. If he doesn’t play for us tomorrow he won’t go with Uruguay either.”
Lionel Messi is expected to lead the line with Suarez still in doubt of making it to the first eleven. The Argentine talisman will drop deep and augment the midfield and orchestrate play while the likes of Fati and Greizmann will look to latch onto the chances created by Messi.
Barcelona Predicted Lineup: ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, de Jong; Griezmann, Messi, Fati