Celta Vigo vs Barcelona - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- No title race in European soccer is as close as Barcelona’s tussle with Real Madrid in La Liga
- Quique Setien’s side has not been entirely convincing since the restart
- Celta has been in fine form and could become the first team to score against Barcelona since March
|What||Celta Vigo vs Barcelona|
|Where||Estadio de Balaidos, Vigo, Spain|
|When||Saturday, 27 June 2020, 11 AM EST|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
Barcelona has turned winning the La Liga title into a habit in recent years. Although Real Madrid was the undisputed king of European soccer in the 2010s, becoming the first time in the Champions League era to win the tournament three times in a row and also triumphing in 2014, Barcelona monopolized the biggest trophy in the domestic Spanish game.
In the six seasons since 2012/13, Barcelona has won the championship four times. Atletico Madrid also triumphed once, which means Real Madrid has taken home the La Liga crown just once in the last half-dozen completed campaigns. In truth, its record has been poor since the start of the century: Madrid has won only five league championships since 2001, and just two since 2008.
That is a paltry return for a club of its size, and its lean spell has allowed Barcelona to move to within seven titles of Los Blancos in the all-time rankings. But unlike in certain seasons of late, Barca has a serious fight on its hand to hold off the challenge of Madrid this term. In fact, it is Zinedine Zidane’s side that leads the way with just seven rounds of fixtures remaining.
Barcelona plays before its eternal rival this weekend, so avoiding defeat by Celta Vigo would be enough to move it back to the summit of the standings before Madrid takes on Espanyol on Sunday. In the long run, a tie will not be good enough, though, and there is clearly room for improvement as far as Barcelona’s recent performance levels are concerned.
Celta Vigo, conversely, can take optimism from its recent displays, but that is unlikely to be enough to help it overcome the defending champion this weekend.
Celta Vigo vs Barcelona Odds
|Both teams to score and match result||Odds|
Odds taken from bet365 NJ
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Barcelona has kept four clean sheets in a row, which represents a considerable improvement on the defensive shakiness it exhibited earlier this season. But Celta Vigo, which has pulled clear of the bottom three since La Liga’s resumption, will pose a substantial threat to that run on Saturday.
With Lionel Messi in the side, it is hard to see Barcelona failing to find the back of the net. Setien’s team should emerge triumphant from this one, but both teams to score looks like an attractive option.
Barcelona’s Defense to the Fore as Real Madrid Battle Intensifies
After 31 games each, Barcelona has scored more than double the goals of third-placed Atletico Madrid. It has also struck 11 more than Real Madrid, the team it is now behind in the table due to an inferior head-to-head record (the teams drew at the Camp Nou but Madrid won at the Santiago Bernabeu).
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Madrid has a superb defensive record, having shipped only 21 goals in its 31 outings to date. That is even fewer than Atletico, which has prided itself for years on its tenacity, diligence and well-organised shape without the ball.
Barcelona has shown some of those qualities in recent weeks, restricting its last four opponents to zero goals. Yet while that is impressive, its defense is far from infallible – both Sevilla and Athletic Club created chances against it in Barca’s last two games.
Celta Vigo Has Spent Another Season Near the Bottom but Survival Is Almost Theirs
After a turbulent season in which it employed three different managers and finished in 17th position, Celta Vigo was hoping to avoid a dogfight at the wrong end of the table this time around.
Yet that has been its fate for much of the campaign. A 1-0 loss to Valencia at the start of February made it eight games without a win for a team ensconced in the bottom three.
Then, all of a sudden, Oscar Garcia – who was appointed as Fran Escriba’s successor in November – began to get his ideas across. Celta has lost just one of its last nine games, and has kept a remarkable six clean sheets in its last seven matches.
Barcelona’s Backline Could Be Breached but It Should Prove Too Strong Overall
On the face of it, tipping goals for both teams might look surprising given the recent strength of the two teams’ defenses. But Barcelona has a remarkable amount of attacking firepower at its disposal, with Messi alone having scored 21 times this season.
Celta has reason to believe it can also find a way past the Blaugrana backline, having smashed six past Alaves just a few days ago. Garcia’s charges are not mathematically safe from the threat of demotion just yet, but a seven-point cushion above the bottom three means they can play with the pressure off when Barcelona visit Balaidos. And in striker Iago Aspas, Celta possesses one of the best attackers in Spanish soccer outside the top two.
Back Barcelona to win in a game featuring goals for both sides – the champion’s defensive run will not last forever.