Real Madrid will be looking to close the gap on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga when they host Celta Vigo in Bernabeu on Saturday.
Celta Vigo extended their unbeaten run in the league to three matches by holding Villarreal to a goalless draw at home. The Galicians are aiming to secure a spot in the Europa League and played out?a good season so far. They currently sit sixth in table and victory in capital will move them above Sevilla above 45 points.
They are expected to give a tough competition to Madrid as they gave Barcelona a real game at the Camp Nou a few weeks ago where it was 1-1 until the hour mark, though Barca exploded into life to record a 6-1 victory. The side from Vigo have netted in both matches they played against Barcelona this term, as well as against Real Madrid back in October and pose a serious threat to Real. Celta are also the only side to have scored three goals against Atletico Madrid this season during their 3-2 Copa Del Rey win at the Calderon, and going forward they are expected to score against Real Madrid as well.
Celta are at advantage facing Madrid since the Blancos striker Karim Benzema is out on an injury and fellow first-team regulars Marcelo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have just returned to training.
Daniel Wass is also hoping to capitalize on the game by strengthening Celta’s bid for a Europa League place. He said in a news conference: “We are going to play as we know, be faithful to our gameplan and to take the three points.
“All games in Spain are special but when you face one of the great teams it is even more so. I’m looking forward to playing at the Bernabeu.
“There are still many games to go but Barcelona are at the top and have an important advantage over Real Madrid. This is football and anything can happen, but now I see it as difficult [for Madrid to win the league].”
After a loss against Atletico Madrid, Los Blancos are trailing Barcelona by nine points and cannot afford to drop any more points. Real Madrid have had a disastrous campaign so far losing four of their 27 league matches but recorded 17 wins in the process.
They are also the highest scorers (74) in Spain’s top flight this term, but it appears that the they will have to watch Barcelona lift the top prize once again.
But Real Madrid have won four of the last five meetings between the two teams–including a 3-1 victory when the Spanish giants travelled to Vigo earlier this season.
Celta’s last win over Real Madrid came on home soil in May 2014, but they have lost each of their last three with Los Blancos and were beaten 3-0 in the corresponding league match last season, when Ronaldo hit a hat-trick. Celta’s last Bernabeu victory (2-1) in the league was during the 2006-07 season.
Here is all you need to know about the game:
Championship: La Liga
Match: Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo
Stadium: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Day: Saturday, March 5
Time: 1500 GMT
Real Madrid (all competitions): W L D W W Last result: Levante 1-3 Real Madrid
Celta Vigo (all competitions): D W W L D Last result: Celta Vigo 0-0 Villarreal
Betting odds (888sport)
Real Madrid win: 3/10
Celta Vigo win: 8
Real Madrid possible XI: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Rapha?l Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo Vieira; Isco, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; James Rodr?guez, Borja Mayoral, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Celta Vigo possible XI: Sergio Alvarez; Hugo Mallo, Gustavo Cabral, Sergi Gomez, Jonathan Castro; Wass, Marcelo Diaz; Aspas, Fabi?n Orellana, Nolito; John Guidetti.