Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Barça travel to Vigo without top stars

Barça travel to Vigo without top stars

Celta Vigo sit in ninth in La Liga and will be assured safety from relegation with a win over Barcelona on Tuesday.

"We have faced Celta three times already and it will be a tough game", said Valverde, whose side are looking to extend their LaLiga record unbeaten run of 39 games.

The two teams square off for the fourth time in 2017/18, with the Blaugrana just edging results after one win and two draws, and Valverde is expecting another stern test from Celta.

The Barcelona boss labelled Celta Vigo as "important opponents" but also stated that he would be making changes to the lineup given that "we have a week of intense football and we have to manage the players".

Busquets and Rakitic have been a regular for coach Valverde but the injuries to the pair will see them drop for the visit to Celta Vigo and the coach will prefer to rest the pair so as to keep them fit for the Copa Del Rey final on Saturday.

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Juan Carlos Unzue's side drew 2-2 at Camp Nou earlier this season and are five points behind sixth-placed Villarreal, giving them an outside chance of securing a spot in the Europa League next season.

The Catalan giants, who are 11 points clear at the top of the table with six games remaining, have endured a tough past week.

With the prospect of Valencia losing midweek, Barca can wrap up the title if they win their next two games - putting pressure on Tuesday's game at the Balaidos.

"We can not set out to draw the match, we must go for the win", Unzue is cited as saying by ABC International. "We have to go out and win, to stand up", Unzue told the press. "Playing against a big team is always an extra motivation for the rest, even if that is subconscious".

The hosts must do without suspended duo Hugo Mallo and Pablo Hernandez, which means that Unzue will have to reshuffle his pack. Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in the centre of midfield, whilst Facundo Roncaglia will slot in at right back. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique could get the night off, while Ivan Rakitic misses out with an injured finger.

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