FC Barcelona (3rd, 76pts) vs RC Celta Vigo (8th, 50pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 37
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Frenkie De Jong, Sergi Roberto, Óscar Mingueza, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho (out), Ronald Araujo (doubt)
Celta Vigo Outs & Doubts: Sergio Álvarez, Rubén Blanco, Emre Mor, Jeison Murillo, Renato Tapia, José Manuel Fontán (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, May 16, 2021, 6.30pm CET (Barcelona), 5.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 12.30pm ET, 9.30am PT (USA), 10pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea
VAR: José Luis González González
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS En Español (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following another disaster in midweek against Levante to effectively end their chances of winning La Liga, Barcelona return to action for their home finale at the Greatest Stadium on Earth as they welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou.
All 10 La Liga matches will kickoff at the same time on Sunday, so Barça will learn in real time if they still have a shot or not. They need losses by both Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid to still go into the final round with a chance, but an Atlético win will mathematically end Barça’s hopes regardless of what the Blaugrana do in their own game.
And what a tough game it is: Celta are one of the best teams in the league right now, playing a highly intense and entertaining style that guarantees goals and good football, and manager Eduardo Coudet is really impressing in his first job in Europe after taking over in November with a team threatened by relegation at the time.
Iago Aspas turns into Lionel Messi whenever he plays Barça, and he’s having another good season leading the Celta line. Denis Suárez is the anchor in midfield, and Nolito can still be a threat on the wings. This is a well-rounded, attack-minded team that’s won four in a row and are set for a strong finish to the season coming to Camp Nou with nothing to lose and facing a Barça team in complete disarray.
Ronald Koeman seemingly has no idea what he’s doing, the 3-5-2 formation isn’t effective anymore and the defense is truly pathetic at the moment. Everything good about this team that we saw in the first three months of 2021 has completely disappeared, and Barça cannot slip up or they’ll finish fourth with Sevilla looking strong and just two points behind them.
Frenkie De Jong and Óscar Mingueza, two key players to the 3-5-2 system, are unavailable for this one which might result in a change of formation, back to the classic 4-3-3 which is expected to be next season’s system — regardless of who the coach is.
Barça must win and play well. The title is gone, and all they can do in the last two games is finish the season with dignity and give some encouragement ahead of what should be a truly crucial summer in the club’s history. Celta are good and beating them will not be easy, but it must be done.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Ilaix, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Messi, Griezmann
Celta Vigo (4-1-3-2): Villar; Mallo, Aidoo, Araújo, Martín; Beltrán; Méndez, Denis, Nolito; Aspas, Mina
I have a bad feeling for this one, and Celta are playing really well right now: 2-2 draw, at best.