Pique and Pedri still out? How Barcelona could line up against Celta Vigo. With multiple important players injured, Barcelona’s final game before Xavi is named new manager might be a serious battle.

Barcelona has a poor record in Vigo, having only beaten Celta once in the past six and a half years, so it won’t be easy for them at Balaidos on Saturday.

It’s also fair to say that this is a particularly bad Barca season; the Catalan giants are now in ninth place in La Liga, with only 16 points from their first 11 games. A win would be a much-needed boost for a club that has only one point in its past three league games.

Barca are now dealing with a slew of injuries, and while this cannot be used as an excuse at a club of that scale with such skill and depth in the squad, it does provide some explanation for why they’ve been so poor as to cost Ronald Koeman his job. Xavi, a former midfielder, is set to take over as their next manager.

In terms of defense, the loss of Gerard Pique is a major and recent blow, and he will most likely be replaced by Ronald Araujo, who is expected to return. Sergino Dest is also set to miss the game due to a back injury. Sergi Roberto is a possibility, although Oscar Mingueza is set to keep his spot at right back.

The full extent of the difficulties become apparent as you travel up the pitch, with Pedri, Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, and Ousmane Dembele all still out.

After being diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat, Aguero will be out until early February, while Dembele returned from injury in midweek only to be sidelined again with a muscular problem.

However, the Blaugrana received a double boost in midweek when Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong returned from injuries.

By Clive Banda

Football Dialogue is the Home to Football News & Content that is both instructive and timeless.

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