The Catalan giants let slip a winning position to lose 3-1 to Levante last weekend, before being held to a 0-0 draw by Slavia Prague in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Celta lost 1-0 at home to Getafe last time out and have since replaced manager Fran Escriba with former Barca player Oscar Garcia, who will take charge of his first match at the club.Barcelona have won all five of their league matches at the Camp Nou this season, while Celta are without an away win.
In that case, Saturday’s result might seem cut and dried, but Barca were poor in their defeat at Levante in their last league outing.
They failed to impress sports writer Andy West or ESPN’s David Cartlidge against Slavia Prague, too:Having Lionel Messi in your ranks can paper over a lot of cracks.
The Argentinian already has six goals and five assists to his name in all competitions, despite not making his first appearance of the season until September 17 due to injury, but even he couldn’t rescue Ernesto Valverde’s struggling side in their last two outings.
Barca will need to improve significantly all over the pitch to be sure of a win on Saturday, though much will also depend on whether Garcia can yield an immediate response from his new team.
Cartlidge and author Colin Millar have not been convinced by his appointment, but La Liga TV’s Alexandra Jonson is optimistic he can do well:
Celta have won just two of 12 in La Liga this season and lost five of their last six, so Garcia has a big job on his hands to turn things around.
The arrival of a new coach can often give a team a short-term lift, which is what Celta will be hoping for in this game.The Galician outfit beat the Blaugrana 2-0 in May, albeit at Balaidos, and it’s not out of the question they could get a positive result here.