Barcelona welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou on Sunday night, aware that they must be focused in order to avoid a slip-up ahead of two crucial fixtures.
With a decisive Champions League match on Wednesday against Inter and El Clasico following next Sunday, Xavi Hernandez will be doing his utmost to keep his players’ minds on Celta.
The Galician side come into the match following a run of inconsistent form. So far they have three wins, three defeats and one draw to their names. Assistant Manager Ariel Broggi will also take charge for Celta, as manager Eduardo Coudet attends to personal issues in Argentina.
The big news for Barcelona is the return of Frenkie de Jong to the squad. Xavi had told the press that de Jong was an option in defence, but Sport expect him to return to midfield in place of Sergio Busquets.
Both Sport and Mundo Deportivo believe Xavi will start Ansu Fati for the second weekend in a row alongside Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski up front.
The only difference between their two predicted line-ups is that Sport have Jordi Alba at left-back, while MD have Balde. There are few options for Xavi to call on with Franck Kessie, Memphis Depay, Hector Bellerin, Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo all out injured. It could lead to an opportunity for 19-year-old central defender Chadi Riad, in the squad for the first time.
Celta come into the match with a clean bill of health and Iago Aspas is expected to start alongside Jorgen Strand Larsen. Denis Suarez still finds himself in exile.