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Barcelona vs Celta Vigo: Rotations or record?

Barcelona take on the Galicians in a tricky away test but also have the Copa del Rey to think about

Leo Messi y Jonatan Castro durante el Barça-Celta (5-0) de la Copa del Rey 2017/18
Leo Messi y Jonatan Castro durante el Barça-Celta (5-0) de la Copa del Rey 2017/18 | Valentí Enrich

Ernesto Valverde will speak, this afternoon, about one of the great unknowns this weeek. How Barcelona will take on Celta Vigo, with Saturday's cup final against Sevilla in mind. Will he rotate or maintain the usual XI?

Juan Manuel Díaz

@JuanmaDiaz65

The Blagurana coach has shown through the season that he likes using a reduced group of players in key games. There are 10 virtually untouchable players for the big games, and the rest fight for the other place in the side.

However it has led to various key players suffering injuries or small problems in the final weeks of the season. Rakitic, who is hoping to be back for the Copa final, Busquets, still overcoming his toe fracture, Messi, who has had muscle problems, Pique, knee problems. Despite that, the latter two have been playing every minute.

TOUGH GAMES

Against Celta, Barcelona are looking to expand their 39 game unbeaten run, as well as to move closer to the league title - but Saturday is do or die against Sevilla in the cup final. While they haven't beaten Barcelona this season, they have previously made life very tough for them.

On Saturday at the Wanda, Valverde will pick his Gala XI if there are no injuries - Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Coutinho, Leo Messi and Luis Suárez. But what about at Balaidos?

COUTINHO'S POSITION

Valverde does not love making huge rotations but he might give some rest to a few. Coutinho looks set to play in bot hgames as he has not needed to feature in the Champions League. The doubt is whether he will play in the midfield or the attack against Celta. Andre Gomes and Paulinho could be options against Celta too. 

VERMAELEN

Thomas Vermaelen is ready to step in for Pique against Celta if needed. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are worn down too and Nelson Semedo may step in. 

Meanwhile Ousmane Dembele's role is unknown. Perhaps the only chance he has to start is if Valverde decides Messi does need a break ahead of the final.

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