After a tough week, Barcelona appears to be like to return to successful methods when it hosts Celta Vigo on Saturday.
The Catalans’ seven-game successful run in all competitions got here to an finish on Saturday with a 3-1 defeat away at Levante.
Leading 1-Zero by way of a first-half penalty from Lionel Messi, Barcelona conceded 3 times in six second-half minutes to lose its third sport of the marketing campaign.
Barcelona’s loss allowed Real Madrid and Real Sociedad to attract degree on the prime of the desk with the reigning La Liga champions.
Saturday’s defeat to Levante was adopted by a goalless draw at dwelling towards Slavia Prague within the Champions League—solely the fourth time Barcelona has did not win at dwelling within the competitors in 34 makes an attempt and the primary time in 46 dwelling video games they’ve failed to attain.
We’re not enjoying in addition to we might like,” Gerard Pique was quoted as saying by Spanish every day Marca.
“But we’re in a very good place in each La Liga and within the Champions League. The outcomes aren’t unhealthy, however they could possibly be higher.
“I’m asking for patience. We’ve had stages before were we haven’t played so well, for example under Luis Enrique, and then we ended up with [winning the] treble [in the 2014-15 season].”
The end result left the Catalans prime of Group F, some extent away from Borussia Dortmund, however did little to ease the strain on coach Ernesto Valverde.
Marca reported on Wednesday that the 55-year-old could possibly be on the verge of being relieved of his duties, with former Everton coach Ronald Koeman lined up as potential substitute.
The Dutchman spent seven seasons in Barcelona as a participant, successful 4 La Liga titles, three Spanish Super Cups, one European Super Cup and one Spanish Cup.
Crucially, Koeman scored the successful aim within the 1992 European Cup remaining, when Barcelona lifted European soccer’s best prize for the primary time in historical past.
Koeman served as Louis Van Gaal’s assistant throughout the latter’s spell answerable for Barcelona between 1998 and 2000, earlier than starting his managerial profession.
His final job at membership degree led to disarray as he was fired by Everton, however he has since rebuilt his profile whereas answerable for the Netherlands nationwide workforce.
Koeman’s contract features a clause that may enable him to depart after the 2020 European Championship, however he can be unavailable till then.
Other potential replacements embrace present Ajax supervisor Erik Ten Hag and River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo.
The Argentine has led his workforce to back-to-back Copa Libertadores finals and can reportedly be allowed to depart after River tackle Flamengo in South American’s soccer largest sport subsequent month.
“Gallardo will be installed as Barcelona coach in December,” former Argentina worldwide Claudio Borghi, who now works as a TV commentator, advised Spanish every day AS.
Valverde has tried to dam out speculations over his future however a destructive end result on Saturday towards a Celta aspect that’s on a four-game operating streak might spell the tip for him.
Here’s all the things you’ll want to know forward of Saturday.
When and the place is the sport?
Barcelona hosts Celta Vigo on the Nou Camp on Saturday, November 9, with kick-off scheduled for 9 p.m. native time (Three p.m. ET).
The two groups have cut up the final six conferences equally, with two wins apiece and two attracts.
The sport can be broadcast reside on beIN SPORTS.
A reside stream can be accessible by way of beIN Sports web site and beIN Sports’ digital platforms, in addition to by way of fuboTV.
Barcelona’s run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions got here to an finish with a 3-1 defeat away towards Levante on Saturday. The Blaugrana stay league leaders by advantage of a superior aim distinction however are degree on factors with Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
Barcelona additionally stays prime of Group F within the Champions League, regardless of drawing 0-Zero at dwelling towards Slavia Prague on Tuesday.
Celta Vigo, in the meantime, stays within the relegation zone in La Liga after shedding 1-Zero at dwelling towards Getafe final week. The outfit has now misplaced the final 4 straight.
Barcelona can be with out Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba, who’re each coping with muscular accidents.
According to Oddschecker, Barcelona is a 1/5 favourite, whereas the draw is at 6/1 and Celta is a 13/1 underdog.