FC Barcelona (2nd, 69pts) vs RC Celta Vigo (11th, 43pts) Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 36
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Pedri, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Nico González, Sergiño Dest, Sergi Roberto (out)
Celta Vigo Outs & Doubts: Hugo Mallo, Santi Mina (out)
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 9.30pm CET (Barcelona), 8.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 1am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Miguel Ángel Órtiz Arias
VAR: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 4 (Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), others
Following an epic win away to Real Betis at the weekend to officially clinch a Top 4 finish, Barcelona return to action for their penultimate La Liga home game of the season when they welcome Celta Vigo to the Greatest Stadium on Earth.
Saturday’s victory against one of the best teams in the country was a huge confidence boost and completely took the pressure away from the final three matches, allowing Xavi Hernández and his troops to play freely knowing that the job is done.
Even though there isn’t much for us fans to care about in the final two weeks of the season, Barça are still playing for something. Finishing second in the table means more prize money and a place in next season’s Spanish Super Cup, which also brings extra cash to a club still in financial hell.
And if you’re a coach like Xavi trying to rebuild on the fly and become a winning bunch again, you must try to win every game; it’s about building that mentality and never taking games or opponents from granted. If Barça do manage to have a strong summer in the transfer window and improve the squad, the newcomers and the players who stay need to understand the importance of winning every match so they can at least challenge for the title next year.
There is also a responsibility of winning and playing well when you defend the Blaugrana colors. That’s non-negotiable regardless of the importance of the game, and Celta Vigo are good enough despite their inconsistencies this season to cause huge problems if Barça don’t take this one seriously.
Only four more points are needed to officially confirm second place, so the target is clear and the football gods will always reward teams who always try to win. They can play free but still be serious, and give their all for 90 minutes to send the crowd home happy and finish the season strong.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Eric, Alba; Gavi, F. De Jong, Puig; Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran
Celta Vigo (4-1-3-2): Dituro; Vázquez, Aidoo, Araujo, Galán; Beltrán; Méndez, Denis, Cervi; Aspas, Galhardo
Celta have a whole lot of talent but Barça usually do well against them at Camp Nou. This will still be a tough game, though: 3-1 to the good guys.