Celta de Vigo
Sunday, 26th April 2015
After making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, Real Madrid return to La Liga action as they travel to Balaidos to face Celta de Vigo on Sunday. The away side come into this game in search of a win as they look to keep pace with league leaders, Barcelona. Saturdaya s win against city rivals, Espanyol, has given Barcelona a five-point advantage at the top. However, if Real Madrid win against Celta on Sunday, a Los Blancosa will move to just two points behind the league leaders. On the other hand, Celta de Vigo have no pressure to grab a victory, despite playing at home. The hosts are not expected to finish in the top six and a top-half finish in the league will be labelled as success for the Galician outfit.
Team News and Tactics
Celta de Vigo
The home side have been beaten only once in their last five league games and come into this game on good run of form. However, playing against an in-form Real Madrid is no easy task, even at home, and the home sidea s previous form will hold no relevance on the pitch. Celta are placed ninth in the league and it seems like the club from Galicia will end the season in that position. Playing against Real Madrid, Celta manager, Eduardo Berrizo, will be aiming to at least win a point. The home side will not dominate the game and will have to sit back and defend against the lethal Real Madrid attack. Berrizo would be willing to let the away side keep most of the possession and wait for them to make mistakes. Celta will be looking to defend hard and make use of counter-attacks to try and score a goal or two.
Berrizo is expected to field the same side that got him the previous two victories in succession. He will be hoping that the players work their charm again and make it three in a row, beating Real Madrid on Sunday. Santi Mina will start in an attacking midfield role with Nolito, who scored the winner against Eibar, last week, on the wing.
Probable Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Sergio; Mallo, Cabral, Fontas, Jonny; Augusto, Krohn-Dehli; Orellana, Mina, Nolito; Larrivey;
With just six games remaining in the season and Barcelona two points clear on the top, Real Madrid will have to go into every game with an aim to win all the three points. On Sunday, Real Madrid will have to be at their best in order to beat a resilient Celta de Vigo. Ancelotti will have no problems in motivating his side, as they come into this game after seeing off local rivals, Atletico Madrid and making it through to the Champions League semi-final. Looking to extend their winning streak in the league to five games, Real Madrid will go into this game full of confidence and belief. Despite being the away side, Real will dominate possession for most of the game and with the attacking prowess at their disposal, a Los Blancosa will create chances aplenty. However, they will have to be cautious while defending set-pieces and make sure that they dona t leave out any gaps at the back while going forward.
Carlo Ancelottia s side is marred with quite a few injury setbacks. In his pre-match press conference, the Italian confirmed that Real Madrid will be without Modric, Bale and Benzema on Sunday. Left-back, Marcelo is expected to return to the starting line-up as the Brazilian missed Wednesdaya s game against Atletico through suspension. After scoring the winner against Atletico, Chicharito is expected to start the game alongside Ronaldo.
Probable Line-Up (4-4-2): Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; James, Illarramendi, Kroos, Isco; Ronaldo, Chicharito;
Player to watch out for
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
The last time Real Madrid face Celta de Vigo, Cristiano Ronaldo was the star as the Portuguese scored all the three goals in the 3-0 win. The forward has an impressive record against Sundaya s opponents and has scored eight goals in his last five appearances.
Celta de Vigo 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid are in fine form and their performance in the Champions League on Wednesday showed that they are mentally strong as well. The Whites have won five out of their last six league games against Celta and we can expect them to take the tally to six on Sunday.