Ousmane Dembele has been sidelined with yet another injury, while Ronald Araujo is set to replace Clement Lenglet when Barcelona face Celta Vigo in La Liga.
Barcelona will be aiming to return to winning ways in the 2021/22 La Liga when they lock horns with Celta Vigo at Abanca-Balaidos on Saturday afternoon.
With the Catalans confirming the appointment of Xavi as the new manager, Saturday’s contest will be the final game in charge for interim boss Sergi Barjuan. As quoted by Barca Blaugranes, the 49-year-old said, “It’s very special but I knew the situation, they asked me if I was ready and capable of doing it. I knew there was an expiration date. When you get a special gift like this it’s hard to let go of it, but that’s the situation.”
Heading into the game, Barcelona have been hit with another fresh injury concern as Ousmane Dembele has been sidelined yet again, just after making his first appearance of the season in the midweek against Dynamo Kyiv. Speaking of the Frenchman’s latest injury setback, Barjuan said, “When you assume the position I did a few weeks ago you have to make decisions.
“I decided that Dembele would play. He came back, he trained with us, he looked good in training. If he wasn’t injured today, no one would say anything. Football has these risks.” Apart from Dembele, the visitors will also be without Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, Gerard Pique, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, Sergino Dest and Neto for the trip to Galicia.
Given the situation, there are unlikely to be many changes to the team that started against Dynamo Kyiv. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is certain to feature in goal while Oscar Mingueza and Jordi Alba pick themselves in the full-back slots. There could be one change in defence, though, with Ronald Araujo coming into the team in place of Clement Lenglet, to partner Eric Garcia.
Moving into the midfield unit, Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets is a certain starter in the holding role. He will be supported by Frenkie de Jong on one side and youngster Nico Gonzalez, who has been in good nick of late, on the other. Riqui Puig will be hoping to get some minutes from the bench after being overlooked for most of Ronald Koeman’s time as the Barcelona boss.
With Dest and Dembele unavailable, and the likes of Yusuf Demir and Philippe Coutinho not performing up to the mark, Barjuan could once again deploy Gavi in an unfamiliar position on the right-wing, as he did in the midweek clash. The other two attacking slots ought to be taken up by Memphis Depay, and Ansu Fati as Barcelona look to get the better of Celta Vigo.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen, Mingueza, Araujo, Garcia, Alba, de Jong, Busquets, Nico, Gavi, Fati, Depay