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Real Madrid vs Celta de Vigo, Liga BBVA 2013-2014: Match Preview

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Real Madrid will try to get their first win of the year at Santiago Bernabéu against a very weak Celta de Vigo team.

Denis Doyle

The first Real Madrid La Liga match of 2014 at Santiago Bernabéu is here.

Since both Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid won this week, Real Madrid is still in third place in La Liga standings and while things aren't dramatic for Los Blancos yet, their margin or error isn't very wide anyway.

Luckily, the match up this week isn't bad either. Celta de Vigo enters this game in 17th place in La Liga with just 16 points. Of eight road matches played in La Liga this season, they've won three and lost five.

Celta's top scorers are Charles and Álex López with just five goals each. Unfortunately, Real Madrid's defenders have struggled a lot this season and it's hard to imagine them playing a perfect game. Ancelotti knows it and Celta's coach Luis Enrique definitely knows it. It's likely that Celta will try to play a bit aggressive early, hope they can score and then play the counter attack. When teams visit Bernabéu, it's normal to see them pull back and pray they get a tie. That might be different against Celta. They need points to avoid the bottom three spots of the standings, after all.

Also, for some reason, it's easier for them to score on the road: 14 of their 21 goals so far were scored in away matches.

If Celta tries to be a bit aggressive, Real Madrid could have a lot of chances. There's no reason at all not to expect them to score at least a couple of goals. Celta's defence has allowed 27 goals so far. Not the worst but still shaky at best. Aurtenetxe and Mallo will have their hands full the entire game, facing Cristiano Ronaldo and either Di María, Bale or Jesé. A midfield that could line up Isco, Alonso and Modric just means a lot more trouble for Celta.

One match up that could be some trouble for Real Madrid is Nolito against Carvajal. Same on the left side, with Marcelo against either López or Fernández.

For what it's worth, Celta de Vigo won two of their last three games played at Santiago Bernabéu in La Liga.

Still, even as bad as Real Madrid's defence has been, los Merengues should get this win comfortable, especially playing at home.