Sunday, 17:00 GMT, 11th May 2014
Last weekend against relegation-threatened Valladolid, Real Madrid saw their chances of a La Liga title receive a huge blow. The 1-1 draw all but ended the possibility of Real Madrid winning their 33rd La Liga title. Though mathematically Real Madrid still has a chance, it seems like a long shot in the dark. Though ‘Los Blancos’ have nearly lost the La Liga title to either city rivals Atletico Madrid or their biggest rivals Barcelona, Ancelotti claims that Real Madrid will still give it their all and keep fighting.
“Winning La Liga will be very difficult, but it’s still mathematically possible. We have to carry on and win our remaining two La Liga games. I’m not concerned about who the favourites are to win the title.” – Carlo Ancelotti
As Real Madrid go into the penultimate weekend of La Liga, they visit the Balaidos to face Celta Vigo away from home. With only 2 games to go, Real Madrid are 4 points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid and just a point behind second-placed Barcelona. While mathematically Real Madrid can still top the Liga but their fate solely relies on their two bitter rivals Atletico and Barcelona. Real Madrid were dealt with two surprising blows when they drew two consecutive matches against Valencia and Valladolid. ‘Los Blancos’ will try their all to win this game and hope for their league rivals to slip up and gift Real Madrid one of the most dramatic La Liga titles.
Celta Vigo have their work cut-out and come into this game with nothing to lose. Placed 9th in the table level on points with Valencia, Celta Vigo will only play for pride and will want to give their fans a memorable end to the season. Having won 3 lost 1 and drawn 1 of their last 5 league games, Celta Vigo are in good shape to face ‘Los Blancos’ who’s form seems to have dropped after the emphatic 4-0 win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Though clearly not the favourites to win the tie, Celta Vigo can still pose a real threat for Real Madrid and can cause a serious upset. A win or draw for Celta will result in Real Madrid exiting from the title race with a game to spare.
Last time these two clubs met, a spirited Celta held Real for sixty minutes, before Karim Benzema finally broke through, then Ronaldo added two more.
Team news and tactics
Luis Enrique will be missing Hugo Mallo and Welliton. Enrique will field a strong side with only 2 more games left of the season. Celta Vigo will go all out in their attempts to completely block the already narrow passage of Real Madrid’s league title. Having won their last 3 Liga games, Celta look to be in great shape and certainly are capable of causing an upset. They beat Osasuna last week, and convincingly beat the team Real slipped up against in midweek – Valladolid – with a goal from Charles, a brace from key man Nolito and an own goal from Stefan Mitrovic.
Enrique will field Alvarez between the sticks. The back four will consist of Johny, Lopez, Fontas and Aurtenetxe. In the middle of the park will be Fernandez, Oubina and Krohn-Dehli. The front three will consist of Orellana, Bermejo and Nolito.
Probable Line-Up (4-3-3): Alvarez (GK); Johny, Lopez, Fontas, Aurtenetxe; Fernandez, Oubina, Krohn-Dehli; Orellana, Bermejo, Nolito
Carlo Ancelotti has a lot of concerns going into this game. Real Madrid have been unlucky when it comes to injuries this season and with the Champions League final approaching, the concerns are getting more and more serious in the Real Madrid camp. With Ancelotti claiming that Real will look to win this game and fight for La Liga till the end, it will be interesting to see what line-up the Italian chooses to go with. Ancelotti has declared that Cristiano, Pepe, Carvajal and Di Maria will not start against Celta Vigo. With Jesé and Arbeloa also unavailable, Real Madrid couldn’t even declare a squad list due to lack of fit players.
Diego Lopez will take his place back in between the sticks as Iker Casillas will play the final game of La Liga. The back four will consist of youth player Llorente, Nacho, Ramos and Coentrao. The mifield will consist of Alonso, Illarramendi and Modric. The front three will be Bale, Benzema and Isco.
Expected starting line-up (4-3-3): Lopes (GK); Llorente, Nacho, Ramos, Coentrao; Illarramendi, Alonso, Modric; Isco, Benzema, Bale
Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Madrid
Winning against Celta will certainly not be easy for Real Madrid, especially so with the worrying fitness issues. However, after drawing two consecutive games, ‘Los Blancos’ will give their all to win this one.