Celta need points while Barca need a happy ending


Barcelona play their first La Liga match since being crowned champions when they make the trip to Celta Vigo on Saturday evening, agencies report.

The Catalan giants wrapped up top spot with plenty of time to spare last weekend to remain on course for a treble, whereas Celta still have a lot to play for as they are not assured of safety.

Escriba will be targeting three more points from the three remaining matches, with a trip to Athletic Bilbao sandwiched between games against Barca and Rayo.

Escriba's side have their work cut out on Saturday, but they boast a good recent record at home to Barca and a shock result could go a long way to retaining their top-flight status for another year.

Given their poor recent record at Balaidos, Ernesto Valverde will be pleased that his side have wrapped up the title with three matches to spare. Barca required star man Lionel Messi to come off the bench and get the job done in last weekend's home meeting with Levante, which took them to 83 points for the season, nine more than Atletico Madrid against whom they have a superior head-to-head record. There was also the famous collapse at the hands of Roma a little over 12 months ago, so Valverde will not be taking anything for granted. Changes can be expected for Saturday's trip to Galicia, then, and the games against Getafe and Eibar to see out the La Liga season are also dead-rubbers.

Valverde will know the importance of momentum, however, and his men certainly have that on their side thanks to five wins on the spin in all competitions and a run of 23 matches without defeat since January. Valverde was always likely to make changes on Saturday, but two of those will be enforced anyway as midfield regulars Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are suspended.

Malcom, Carles Alena and Jean-Clair Todibo are all expected to profit from the squad rotation, while Riqui Puig and Moussa Wague may 

also be used.

Barca used a three-man defence in their goalless draw against Huesca last month when they last made mass changes, and it may well be a case of going with the same XI that started that match.

As for Celta, they may be without Iago Aspas as the striker suffered a shoulder injury against Leganes.

That would be a massive blow for the hosts as Aspas has been involved in nine of their last 10 goals (five goals of his own and four assists).

Elsewhere, Okay Yokuslu is back from suspension and should be used in the middle, but David Junca and Emre Mor are carrying knocks.