Barcelona predicted lineup vs Celta Vigo - La Liga

Xavi Hernandez faced Celta Vigo 17 times in his playing career but didn't score once
Xavi Hernandez faced Celta Vigo 17 times in his playing career but didn't score once / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barcelona welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou in La Liga on Sunday night from the top of the table.

By the time they kick off in Catalonia, Barcelona may no longer be riding high at the summit of the Spanish top flight given Real Madrid's earlier fixture against Getafe. However, last weekend the Catalan giants finished a jornada (gameweek) as La Liga leaders for the first time since June 2020. Seven different clubs have held that honour since.

Here's the XI Xavi may deploy to ensure Barcelona maintain their lofty status.

1. Barcelona XI (4-3-3)

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski has scored in six consecutive La Liga matches / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen - Against Mallorca last weekend, Ter Stegen surpassed his personal best tally for minutes without conceding - which now stands at 534.

RB: Alejandro Balde - While Barcelona's defensive resources dwindle with each passing minute, Balde is the most two-footed of the three left-backs the club have fit.

CB: Gerard Pique - Oscar Mingueza, the former Blaugrana defender preparing for his return to Catalonia with Celta, admitted that "it's a bit strange" to see Pique on the bench for Barcelona. The glut of injuries in that position may usher the veteran back into the lineup, putting Mingueza at ease at least.

CB: Eric Garcia - The 21-year-old began preparing for life after football in his early teens when he first started to make a dent into his coaching badges.

LB: Jordi Alba - "Jordi the player is nothing like Jordi the man," Alba is keen to stress - which is lucky, considering he can be so antagonistic on the pitch that opponents - such as Kylian Mbappe a couple of seasons ago - threaten to kill him.

CM: Gavi - The Italian international Emerson Palmieri admitted: "I didn't know him," when Gavi started and starred for Spain on his international debut against the Azzurri. Emerson and the rest of Europe certainly know Gavi now.

CM: Frenkie de Jong - With the visit of Inter and el clasico rapidly approaching, De Jong's return from injury has come at just the right time for Xavi to perhaps rest Sergio Busquets ahead of two seismic fixtures.

CM: Pedri - Born into a family of Barcelona fanatics, Pedri's father used to show his son videos of Michael Laudrup (before his days at Real Madrid of course).

RW: Raphinha - Since swapping Leeds for La Blaugrana, Raphinha has scored more goals for Brazil (two) than he has for Barcelona (one).

ST: Robert Lewandowski - In homage to Thomas Muller’s inimitable description of the Polish striker, the Spanish paper Sport have already dubbed Barcelona's new number nine “Goalandowski”, while Mundo Deportivo went for “Lethaldowski” - both far inferior to the original; “LewanGOALski”.

LW: Ansu Fati - After appearing from the off against Mallorca last weekend, Fati could make consecutive La Liga starts for the first time in 12 months.