Former Barcelona assistant Juan Carlos Unzue is hoping his Celta Vigo side will end the Catalan club’s unbeaten run on Tuesday evening.
The Catalan side broke Real Sociedad’s La Liga record of 39 games unbeaten with the 2-1 win over Valencia at the weekend, leaving Valverde’s side on the verge of a record breaking league title.
With the prospect of Valencia losing midweek, Barca can wrap up the title if they win their next two games – putting pressure on Tuesday’s game at the Balaidos.
Speaking ahead of the fixture against Barca, Unzue said his side will be looking to end that run.
“We cannot set out to draw the match, we must go for the win,” Unzue is cited as saying by ABC International. “Playing against a big team is always an extra motivation for the rest, even if that is subconscious.
“Barcelona are used to playing important matches every three days so I do not think that will be an issue for them.”
Celta missed the chance to close the gap on Villarreal for the final Europa League spot after their 1-0 away defeat to Leganes on the weekend, whilst Barca proved too strong for Los Che with goals from Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti.
For the home side, captain Hugo Mallo and the influential Pablo Hernandez are out due to suspension. Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in the centre of midfield, whilst Facundo Roncaglia will slot in at right back.
Barca have chose to rest Ivan Rakitic as the Croatian midfielder is suffering from a broken finger. Paulinho should replace him, whilst Nelson Semedo and Thomas Vermaelen are expected to get a start.