Valverde may risk unbeaten run at Celta as cup final looms

Paola Ditto
Aprile 17, 2018

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says that he could rest Lionel Messi for Tuesday's La Liga encounter with Celta Vigo. The Uruguayan striker has bagged 13 goals in 30 league appearances since joining Celta from Defensor Sporting in the off-season.

Barca broke the record for the longest unbeaten streak in La Liga on Saturday when they beat Valencia to make it 39 league games without defeat.

Ousmane Dembele could get the chance to strut his stuff if Lionel Messi is rested.

Barca can wrap up the title before May's El Clasico if Atletico Madrid drop points in their next two games, meaning a win over Celta Vigo will be at the forefront of their minds.

Celta coach Juan Carlos Unzue, who was assistant manager at Barca under Valverde's predecessor Luis Enrique, wants to avenge that loss and is setting his sights on a shock win.

Speaking at a press conference reported by ABC Internacional, Unzue said: "We can not set out to draw, we need to win. We have to go out and win, to stand up", Unzue told the press.

The hosts must do without suspended duo Hugo Mallo and Pablo Hernandez, which means that Unzue will have to reshuffle his pack. Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in the centre of midfield, whilst Facundo Roncaglia will slot in at right back.

Valverde is likely to rest key players with an eye on this weekend's Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.

Ivan Rakitic suffered a broken finger last week and may also miss out.

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