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Open Thread: January 1, 2021.

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Hola Madridistas!

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail or Oscnar.

Happy New Year, Madridistas!

Yesterday, the squad had the last training session of 2020. It’s a new year, but there is no break this weekend. Tomorrow, Los Blancos have an important game at home against Celta de Vigo. The club wished its fans on social media.

Celta’s recent form.

Celta’s form since Eduardo Coudet became the club’s new head coach has been terrific, winning six and losing just one of their eight fixtures under the 46-year-old. The Sky Blues have risen from just outside the relegation zone into eighth position and are now just two points behind sixth-placed Barcelona, which is a demonstration of their turnaround.

A record of six wins, five draws and five defeats has brought them 23 points, and they have won five of their last six matches in the league, including a 2-1 success over Huesca on Wednesday night. Coudet has plenty of options for change, with the likes of Fran Beltran, Miguel Baeza and Okay Yokuslu all pushing for starts, having featured off the bench on Wednesday night. Kevin Vazquez, Sergio Alvarez and David Junca remain unavailable for selection, but the visitors did not pick up any fresh issues against Huesca.

Celta are expected to go with their strongest available side, though, meaning that Nolito, Iago Aspas, Santi Mina and Denis Suarez should all be in the first XI.

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:

Blanco; Mallo, Araujo, Murillo, Olaza; Mendez, D Suarez, Tapia, Nolito; Mina, Aspas.

Will we see Ødegaard play against Celta?

AS reported that Zidane, who hasn’t used the Ødegaard recently, doesn’t want the player to loose the confidence he acquired playing for Real Sociedad. As Zidane is aware of Ødegaard's physical issues, he doesn’t want to put that responsibility on the player before he's completely fit. The idea is to gradually introduce him back in the team.

Update on Kubo

There is a rumour that Kubo’s agent informed Villarreal of the player's desire to leave and move to Getafe for the rest of the season. Both clubs are negotiating.

The best of 2020

Marca released its choices for the best players of 2020:

  1. Lewandowski
  2. Kimmich
  3. Mbappe
  4. Ramos
  5. Cristiano
  6. Neymar
  7. Benzema
  8. Neuer
  9. Haaland
  10. Messi

The next Madridista to appear in the list is Tony Kroos in 20th position. Luka Modric is in 24th position.