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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Celta Vigo will relish another shot at big guns Barca

Trip to Camp Nou could see Celta raise their game

Celta Vigo celebrate scoring against Real Madrid
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Copa del Rey round-of-16 second leg 8.30pm Thursday

Barcelona don’t really have bogey teams but one side who seem to trouble them more than others are Celta Vigo.

A 1-1 draw at the Balaidos last week has left this Copa del Rey on something of a knife-edge, though Barca are 1-6 to win the second leg on home soil.

Home soil, however, is where Barca and Celta drew 2-2 in La Liga just a month ago.

Indeed, the Catalan giants have failed to beat Celta in five of their previous eight meetings, a remarkable stat given how Barcelona have a happy knack of steamrolling just about every other side they come across.

Inevitably, given Barcelona’s commitments on different fronts, they played a second team in Vigo. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, for example, didn’t even travel.

Ernesto Valverde will recall one or two of his stars for this return tie though the expectation is that Jose Arnaiz, scorer of three goals in the competition, will lead the line again. New signing Philippe Coutinho is injured.

Barcelona, who are unbeaten in 27 matches this season, will be stronger though it’s worth considering backing the outsiders on the Asian handicap.

Celta, despite a lowly league position, go into the game fresh from a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on Sunday, a match in which they were excellent, and their ability to get decent results against the big guns is a good habit to have and one that punters should be wise to.

Celta Vigo +2.25 on Asian handicap
1pt 9-10 bet365

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The Catalan giants have failed to beat Celta in five of their previous eight meetings
E.W. Terms
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