Real Madrid are back in league action this weekend when they take on Celta Vigo at the Bernabéu. Real are looking to regain their three point lead after Barcelona defeated Getafe on Saturday.
These two clubs faced each other in the very first match of the season back in August. It was a 3-1 Real victory at the Balaídos.
Celta are currently 18th and in the relegation zone, trailing one point behind Mallorca. They need a result if they hope to make way their way out, though there is still plenty of time to do so.
Real have won their last five La Liga matches and are unbeaten in their last 14 league fixtures. Three points are almost a necessity since they are currently tied on points with Barcelona ahead of Sunday’s match.
This will also likely be the match where we see Eden Hazard make his return to the pitch, so there’s much excitement to be had for this match. This has certainly been a long time coming.
As mentioned, Eden Hazard is back in the match-day squad for Los Blancos. They do not have Nacho, Lucas Vazquez, Rodrygo or James available. Marco Asensio remains injured.
Celta have a full squad.
There are no suspensions for either side in Sunday’s meeting.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Hazard, Benzema
Kroos, even though he was available on the bench, did not feature against Osasuna last weekend. He will likely be back in the starting lineup against Celta, however.
With no Vazquez or Rodrygo, Bale will most likely get the start on the right side again.
Of course, the big question is Eden Hazard. He will likely start ahead of Vinicius, but I would doubt he plays even close to the entire match. It’s not even a lock he starts yet, Vinicius could be given the nod with Hazard subbing in later.
Either way, Zidane is likely going to be giving Hazard limited minutes in his first match back just to get him incorporated and getting actual minutes.
Blanco; Vázquez, Araujo, Aidoo, Olaza; Beltrán, Okay, Rafinha; Aspas, Sisto, Smolov
Real Madrid—RC Celta 3-0
This is absolutely a match Real Madrid must win with Barcelona already doing so on Saturday. Real need to get these three points to keep the pressure on and remain ahead of the pack.
Celta are not good this season. They’ve only scored nineteen goals, which is tied for the second least amount with last place Espanyol. They also give up way more goals than they actually score, conceding 32 goals already. All that makes for a -13 goal differential, which is fourth worst in La Liga.
So, especially being at home, Real must win on Sunday. They have a relatively full squad with Hazard rejoining in some form. They’re looking to continue both the win and unbeaten league streak. They need these three points to regain their lead over Barcelona through this week.