Riqui Puig is in line for his first La Liga start of the season, replacing Arthur, while Ansu Fati should also start for Barcelona against Celta Vigo.
Barcelona will be aiming to reclaim the top spot in the La Liga standings when they travel to Estadio de Balaidos to take on Oscar Garcia’s Celta Vigo side on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the contest, Barcelona have no fresh fitness concerns, with the trio of Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong and long-term absentee Ousmane Dembele the only three out with injuries. However, they will be without veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets, who misses out due to suspension for accumulation of cards.
There is unlikely to be any changes made by manager Quique Setien at the back on the trip to Celta Vigo. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed first-choice under the woodwork and should start, while Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet ought to be the centre-back pairing. Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba will be the two full-backs for the Catalans.
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The midfield poses a dilemma for the Barcelona manager. With Busquets ruled out, Ivan Rakitic is expected to move into the anchorman role on Saturday. Arturo Vidal, given the different flavour that he brings to the table, should hold on to his place. Riqui Puig, who made a great impact from the bench last time out, will contest with Arthur for the third slot.
Setien, in his pre-match presser (h/t Barca Blaugranes), addressed speculations surrounding Arthur, who is reportedly on his way to Juventus. “The club haven’t told me that Arthur is going to leave, neither has he left. We are going to have a training session, he’s going to come with us to Vigo and he’ll be with us for the final games that’s for sure,” he said.
At the same time, Setien dropped a hint that Puig could be in line to make his first league start of the season. “It could be a good moment. The reality is that he’s [Puig] going to have more of a chance with the absence of several important players,” the Barcelona manager said.
In attack, club captain and talisman Lionel Messi is a certain starter despite having shown signs of fatigue in the last couple of matches.
But there will a double change when it comes to his partners in the final third. Both Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann did not make the best of impressions last time out, paving the way for Martin Braithwaite and Ansu Fati to feature on Saturday. The former will operate centrally, with the youngster slotting in on the left flank.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Puig; Messi, Braithwaite, Ansu Fati