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How will Barcelona line up against Celta Vigo in the La Liga finale?

The champions are in action for the last time this season

FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The champions of Spain will be in action for the last time this season as Barcelona make the trip to Balaídos to face Celta Vigo on Sunday’s La Liga finale.

Barça got back to winning ways last weekend with a dominant display against Mallorca in the farewell to Camp Nou, and are now looking to finish the season on a high and go above the 90-point mark with a win.

But Celta away is always a brutal test, and the side from Vigo will be playing for their lives as part of a wild six-team race to avoid the final relegation spot. Celta will be safe with a victory, but any other result will complicate their situation which makes for a dramatic season finale. Here’s how we think Barça will line up on Sunday.


Real Valladolid CF v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

As has been the case ever since Barça clinched the title, it’s impossible to predict with any confidence which lineup Xavi Hernández will choose. With the last league game being on the road and a long trip to Japan planned for right after the match for a post-season friendly against Andrés Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe, there is a high likelihood that the boss gives most if not all of his key players a day off and goes with a starting XI full of reserves to give fringe players a chance to play big minutes.

But Xavi could also look at this as a chance to give goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen a real shot at the league clean sheet record of 27 games, which would mean selecting his strongest possible team to try and hold off Celta’s attack. We are going with option number 2, though Ronald Araujo and Alejandro Balde will miss this one through injury. The four best remaining options are Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba at full-back and Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen in the middle, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the coach go with Eric García and/or Marcos Alonso if rotations are on his mind.

And if rotations are indeed on the coach’s mind, Ter Stegen will be rested for the season finale and Iñaki Peña will play in goal.


FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets played his last home game last week but this will be his official farewell match, and it would be a big surprise to not see the captain start one last time as the anchor of Barça’s midfield. The question is who will be alongside Busi in the center of the park, and once again it comes down to Xavi’s choice of how strong he wants his team to be.

We think the best possible team will be out there, which would mean Gavi and Frenkie De Jong completing the midfield with Pedri once again allowed to rest and fully recover going into the offseason.

If rotations happen, then the door would be open for either or both of Franck Kessie and Pablo Torre.


FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski will win the Pichichi Trophy barring a miracle, but the Pole wants to improve on his current tally of 23 goals and will be looking to find the back of the net again in the final game of his debut season.

Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati both played very well last week and deserve a chance to start again in this one, but Raphinha and Ferran Torres will be very much in contention if the boss decides to rotate.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Kounde, Christensen, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Fati (4-3-3)

How do you think Barcelona should line up against Celta Vigo? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and teams in the comments below!

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