RC Celta Vigo (8th, 5pts) vs FC Barcelona (10th, 3pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Wednesday
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 4
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Marc-André ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Rafinha (out)
Celta Vigo Outs & Doubts: Sergio Álvarez, Rubén Blanco, David Juncà (out)
Date/Time: Thursday, October 1, 2020, 9.30pm CET (Barcelona), 8.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 1am IST (India, Friday)
Venue: Estadio de Balaídos, Vigo, Spain
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), Startimes Sports (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following an impressive start to the season with a resounding 4-0 victory against Villarreal at Camp Nou, Barcelona hit the road for the first time in this La Liga season to play a historically tough fixture away to Celta Vigo at Balaídos.
Ever since the days of Ernesto Valverde, Barça have been simply awful away from home. Even with post-pandemic football happening with empty stadiums in Spain, which could contribute to Barça improving their form without having to face a hostile crowd, the Blaugrana are still terrible away from Camp Nou, and that is the biggest job facing Ronald Koeman as manager.
More often than not, Barça will be really good at home like they were on Sunday. There is just too much talent in this squad and familiar surroundings make it easier for that talent to shine. It’s the mental side that is always lacking on the road: Barça simply cannot respond well to going down early away from home, and even when they take the lead, which happened the last time they faced Celta away, they can’t find a way to protect it and lose points in mostly laughable fashion.
Starting on Thursday against a tough opponent, Koeman’s Barça needs to be different away from home to give any hopes of a successful season. Rome, Anfield, Lisbon. The biggest embarrassments in club history happened away from Camp Nou. Let’s start changing that, shall we?
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Neto; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann, Coutinho, Ansu Fati; Messi
Celta Vigo (3-4-1-2): Villar; Aidoo, Murillo, Araújo; Vázquez, Tapia, Yokuslu, Olaza; Méndez; Aspas, Santi Mina
I am very nervous for every road game Barça plays, and that won’t change until they change: 2-1 Celta.