Barcelona return to La Liga action with an important game against Celta Vigo at Camp Nou on Matchday 13.
Competition: La Liga
Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Camp Nou
are without a victory in their last two matches, losing at Levante in the league last time out before being held to a goalless draw by Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
have already lost the same number of league matches this season as they did in the entire 2018-19 campaign.
The Catalan giants
have been beaten in three of their 11La Liga
outings this term but are still top of the table heading into the next set of matches.
The Spanish Champions
did win seven straight matches in all competitions between September 24 and October 29 before losing 3-1 at Levante last weekend.
came to a hugely disappointing goalless draw with Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
There remains widespread speculation surrounding the future ofValverde
, although it is thought that
will remain as head coach until the end of the campaign. He has delivered back-to-back
titles since arriving from Athletic Bilbao, but their Champions League performances have been disappointing.
It would be a huge surprise if
did not return to winning ways this weekend, although
did record a 2-0 victory when the two teams last met in
towards the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
are competing in their eighth straight season, finishing ninth, eighth, and sixth between 2014 and 2016 during a very successful period for the club.
A record of just two wins, three draws, and seven defeats in 12 matches has left
the Sky Blues
in 18th position in the table. No team has scored fewer goals (six) in Spain's top flight this season, while they have lost each of their last four in the league since beating Athletic Bilbao on October 6.
The 1-0 home loss to Getafe last weekend saw Fran Escriba lose his job as head coach, with Oscar Garcia now in the position. Starting his reign with a trip to
is not exactly ideal, but it could be a huge springboard if they manage to pick up a positive result this weekend.
The omens are not exactly terrific, though, as
have won 16 and drawn one of their last 17 home games in
have not recorded an away victory in the league since last December.
Ernesto Valverde will be missing the services of Jordi Alba after the Spaniard pulled his hamstring against Slavia Prague recently. There is a boost though with Luis Suarez recovering from the injury he picked up against Levante. However, Valverde might look to play it safe and not start with the Uruguayan on Saturday.
Junior Firpo and Sergi Roberto ought to start in full-back positions with Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique playing at the heart of the defense.
In midfield, Sergio Busquets is an obvious call and alongside him, players like Arthur Melo and Frenkie de Jong are likely to feature. Busquets will sit deep initiate buildups and aid the backline whenever required. Arthur Melo and de Jong will venture forward and be more active in the attacking buildup.
Teenage sensation Ansu Fati may start in attack as both Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele have failed to put impressive performances this season. So, the 17-year old is set to start on the left with Griezmann taking the right flank and Lionel Messi starting as the center-forward. However, the front three are expected to shuffle through the game with Messi dropping deep and orchestrating play.
Luis Suarez is sidelined due to injury for the hosts, which should see Antoine Griezmann lead the line once again.
Ansu Fati is expected to get a start on the left-hand side of the attack as a result, with Ousmane Dembele dropping out of the team from midweek.
In Jordi Alba's absence, Nelson Semedo should start at left-back ahead of Junior Firpo.
Oscar Garcia has quite a long injury list at
with creative attacking players like Santi Mina and Rafinha already out injured and joining them are Kevin Vazquez and Claudio Beauvue who are also unavailable after sustaining injuries in their hamstring and knee respectively.
In defense Ghanaian center back Joseph Aidoo will partner Nestor Araujo while Hugo Mallo and Lucas Olaza pick themselves for the full-back spots. In midfield, the four spots will be taken by Brais Mendez, who is likely to play from the right with Stanislav Lobotka partnering 20-year old Fran Beltran in the center of the field.
Denis Suarez is set to feature against his former club and the midfielder will have some added motivation to prove himself on the night. Pione Sisto and Okay Yokuşlu will also look to prove themselves as the new manager is set to make changes to the starting eleven.
Experienced Spanish forward Iago Aspas will lead the line alongside Gabriel Fernandez. Celta have scored the least amount of goals in the league thus far scoring six goals from the first 12 fixtures and it is a statistic which they share with the other two teams in the relegation zone.
Oscar Garcia will be taking charge of his first game as Celta boss after Fran Escriba's sacking.
Lucas Olaza is expected to get the nod at left-back over David Junca.
Pape Cheikh could also be preferred to Okay Yokuslu in midfield for the away side.
have managed to muster nine points from their first 12 matches in
this season – their worst record at this stage since 1985/86 season where they had seven points.
have managed to win one match out of their last 10
fixtures, losing their last four and failing to find the net six times. Also, they have not scored more than once this season till now.
have scored at least once in their last 32
matches at home (W27 D4 L1) with a goal average of 2.9, enjoying a winning record in their last 12
matches at Camp Nou.
Among all the sides,
have faced at least 50 times at home, against no other team they have lost fewer times than
(P53 W40 D11 L2)
have not won away from home in
since last December.
Barcelona XI (4-3-3):
ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, de Jong; Griezmann, Messi, Fati
Blanco; Mallo, Aidoo, Araujo, Olaza; Mendez, Lobotka, Beltran, Suarez; Aspas, Fernandez