Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona will face each other at Estadio Balaidos located in Vigo, Galicia. The match places first-placed Barca against a team threatened with relegation.
The last time the two teams met was last November at Camp Nou. Adriano, Jordi Alba and David Villa scored the three goals for Barca. Mario Bermejo scored Celta's only goal of the match.
What are the factors involved in rating the two teams? What may determine the results in this encounter between Barca and Celta Vigo?
While Celta Vigo have the hometown advantage, they are under the threat of relegation and find themselves three points off the bottom spot. Celta languish in 19th place with six wins, five draws and 17 losses during the current La Liga season.
The disastrous season resulted in the sacking of coach Paco Herrera by club president Carlos Mourino in midseason. Abel Resino was selected as Herrera’s replacement apparently without informing Herrera that he had been sacked (via ESPN).
The result was a rare victory for Celta Vigo. Celta Vigo forwards Iago Aspas and Mario Bermejo were instrumental in the club’s victory.
The aftereffects of the victory did not last long when Celta Vigo faced Deportivo La Coruna. Aspas received a four-match ban for his headbutt against Deportivo defender Carlos Marchena in the 3-1 defeat (via CBSSports.com).
Team rating: 3/10
FC Barcelona have the first-place advantage in the current La Liga BBVA season. They also have the star power of Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta.
Tito Vilanova’s return to Barca from medical treatment in New York will serve as an inspiration. Eric Abidal’s return may also help La Blaugrana in this match.
Barca defender Jordi Alba suffered a hamstring strain in his right leg during his participation in the World Cup qualifiers. Alba will miss the Barca matches against Celta Vigo and Paris Saint-Germain while recovering.
Goalkeeper Victor Valdes remains under suspension for four matches. Carles Puyol and Adriano will not participate in the match. Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez and forward Pedro Rodriguez will be unavailable for this game.
The injuries and suspensions in Barca are not expected to damage the team's chances in this match.
Team rating: 8/10
Celta Vigo 1-2 FC Barcelona