Celta Vigo-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana eye fourth straight win as Vilanova returns
The 44-year-old coach has flown back to the Catalan capital after 10 weeks receiving cancer treatment in the US and could watch his team in action at Balaidos on Saturday
By Karthick Arvinth
Celta Vigo midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli will miss Saturday's Primera Division clash against Barcelona after injuring his knee while on international duty.
Sergio Alvarez, Hugo Mallo, Samuel Llorca and Alex Lopez are all sidelined, while Andres Tunez and Iago Aspas are suspended.
However, midfielders Quique de Lucas and Natxo Insa have recovered from ankle and thigh problems, respectively, and are available for selection.
Barcelona playmaker Xavi is struggling with a hamstring strain and will not travel to Galicia.
Defender Jordi Alba (hamstring) and striker Pedro (calf) also picked up knocks while on Spain duty and join Carles Puyol (knee), Adriano (thigh) and Victor Valdes (suspension) on the sidelines.
Assistant coach Jordi Roura is likely to rest some of his stars with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Celta Vigo are on a three-match losing run in La Liga.
- The Galician outfit have won just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
- Celta have lost their last five Liga encounters with Barcelona.
- Barcelona have won just one of their last five away games across all competitions.
- Lionel Messi has scored 28 goals in his last 18 Liga outings and is bidding to become the first player in history to score against 19 league opponents in consecutive matches.
- Jose Manuel Pinto (pictured, right) made 181 league appearances for Celta Vigo between 1998 and 2008.
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Top 3 Predictions
Celta 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 15.42 %
Celta 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 11.83 %
Celta 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 11.74 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 26, 2014||FC Barcelona 3 - Celta 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 29, 2013||Celta 0 - FC Barcelona 3|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 30, 2013||Celta 2 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 3, 2012||FC Barcelona 3 - Celta 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 28, 2007||FC Barcelona 3 - Celta 1|
|Apr 20, 2014||Almeria 2 - Celta 4||LIGA|
|Apr 12, 2014||Celta 2 - Real Sociedad 2||LIGA|
|Apr 5, 2014||Rayo Vallecano 3 - Celta 0||LIGA|
|Mar 29, 2014||Celta 1 - Sevilla 0||LIGA|
|Mar 26, 2014||FC Barcelona 3 - Celta 0||LIGA|
|22||Gustavo Daniel Cabral||Defender|
|17||Lévy Clément Madinda||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
The South Korea international has struggled to establish himself at Celta Vigo since arriving on loan from Arsenal last summer. With leading scorer Iago Aspas starting a four-match ban on Saturday, Park will have to add to his modest Liga tally of three goals if Celta are to save themselves from relegation.
The 31-year-old striker has scored two goals in his last two outings for Barcelona and started both of Spain's World Cup qualifiers over the international break. An in-form Villa will be a major asset to Barcelona towards the business end of the season.
Celta are a difficult side to beat at home and they will be desperate to pick up points after losing the Galician derby. Barcelona will look to rest key players ahead of their midweek trip to Paris and they could suffer on the heavy Balaidos pitch.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed