Real Madrid return to La Liga action as the club travels away to the Balaidos to face Celta Vigo. Real won the home fixture of this meeting 2-0, which was not long ago back in January.
Real are coming off a fresh advance to the next round of the Champions League after defeating Atalanta on Tuesday. Domestically, Real have won three of their last five matches and are unbeaten in their last seven.
Celta is within the top ten of La Liga as well. They have won two of their last five matches while drawing twice and losing once. Celta has not played Real well as they have not won in their last 13 La Liga meetings.
The title race at the top of the table is starting to tighten as third-place Real Madrid are just two points trailing Barcelona and six behind Atletico.
Real Madrid will be without Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano. Sergio Ramos has also been left off the squad. Casemiro is back in the squad after serving suspension against Atalanta.
Celta will be without goalkeepers Ruben Blanco and Sergio Alvarez. Winger Emre Mor is a doubt for Saturday’s match as well.
There are no suspensions for this match.
Villar; Mallo, Araujo, Murillo, Martin; Tapia; Mendez, Suarez, Nolito; Aspas, Mina
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema
With Sergio Ramos sitting out, Nacho will likely slot into his starting role. Lucas Vazquez will likely continue starting in both right backs’ absences.
Casemiro will likely return to the starting lineup after the suspension.
Rodrygo could net a start instead of Marco Asensio with Vinicius starting to his opposite wing.
Celta Vigo—Real Madrid 1-2
This will be a tough trip for Real Madrid as they look to keep fresh off a tough match against Atalanta earlier this week and now having to face a club in the top half of La Liga.
Real have a proven record against Celta, but they of course cannot take this for granted. Los Blancos haven’t lost their last six matches played at the Balaidos. Real is also playing good football right now.
Karim Benzema will be a big factor for this match as he has netted three goals in his last two La Liga matches. He also had a goal against Atalanta earlier this week. He has been Real’s main scoring threat all season when playing and will be looked towards again to lead the offense.
Celta are one of three teams in the top half of the table to allow over 40 goals this season. They also have the second-worst goal differential among the upper half of clubs in the league standings.
It will be an interesting match as Real look to get it done for a second time against Celta this season. Real will surely need the win and the three points to keep up in what has become a much closer title race.