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Celta Vigo vs Barcelona, La Liga: Projected Lineups; Gala XI set for season debut?

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Barcelona have been literally perfect in La Liga, at least in terms in results, winning all four matches so far, including tough games against Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid away from home. After getting a little break from difficult opponents (and injuries) in the 4-1 against Levante, the Blaugrana will board on the plane for a trip to one of the hardest grounds in Spain, at Balaídos against Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

Last season, the Catalan giants needed a late Jérémy Mathieu header to escape the stadium with a narrow win, and coach Luis Enrique knows how difficult it is to play there since he was Celta's coach for two years and certainly made things tougher for any team that visited him. Because of that, we might finally see the debut of Barça's best team: the Gala XI is healthy, available and ready to go, especially with the return from suspension of Gerard Piqué.

In case you forgot, this is Barça's strongest possible starting eleven:

Ter Stegen

Alves - Piqué - Mascherano - Alba

Rakitic - Busquets - Iniesta

Messi - Suárez - Neymar

There's no reason for Lucho to go with a different group here. Everyone is safe, he rested Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suárez for the whole game on Sunday and Piqué is match fit since he played last week in Rome and a good game. I guess the only real doubt about this lineup is if Javier Mascherano stays in the lineup or if last season's hero Mathieu gets the starting nod. I personally think the French will be on the bench, but we'll only know that for sure an hour before the game.

We asked our community to pick its favorite lineup, and this was your choice:

Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar

HEY, WE AGREE! Which surely means this will not be the starting lineup. Damn, Lucho.


And this is the projected lineup for Celta on Wednesday:


Mallo - Cabral - Fontás - Planas

Hernández - Fernández - Wass

Orellana - Aspas - Nolito

This has been the most surprising team so far, sitting in fourth place on the table after beating Sevilla in Seville. Barça January target Nolito has been absolutely spectacular so far, with four goals in four games, and along with Fabiàn Orellana and Iago Aspas, he's part of one of the most dangerous under-the-radar attacking fronts in Europe. Celta has scored at least three goals in their last three games at home, and they will certainly bring a lot of speed and pressure to the Blaugrana's backline. The defense will miss an important piece in center-back Jonny, but they have former Barça defender Andreu Fontás, who has been impressively solid so far. It's a team more than capable of making Wednesday's game as tough as we saw last season. Get ready to get nervous.

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