Real Madrid CF
Saturday, 24th October, 2015, 1500 GMT
In an absolute six-pointer (in the truest sense of the word), Real Madrid CF travel to Celta Vigo, on Saturday, for a top of the table clash. As weird as it sounds, Celta Vigo have been able to maintain their good run of form, this season, winning five out of their eight matches.
They are in fact at par with Los Blancos on the number of points, and both the teams are currently unbeaten in La Liga. While Real Madrid CF have a much better goal difference, a draw is unlikely to do much favour to either of the two sides, as FC Barcelona are right on their tail with the same number of points (18).
Team News and Tactical Brief:
The Os Celticos have been the surprise package of the season, and manager Eduardo Berizzo seems to have worked wonders with a team that generally hovers around the lower section of the top-half of the table.
They beat last weeka s table-topper Villarreal, with a late Nolito goal, and would be looking to do the same with Real Madrid CF, to go top of the table this time around. Berizzo would be more than happy to welcome back wingman Dejan Drazic to his side, while shoring up the defence with the presence of Andreu Fontas.
Real Madrid CF
Los Blancos have also been on an eight-match unbeaten run (just like Celta Vigo), and would be looking to extend that with a win over their La Liga counterparts. However, manager Rafa Benitez will be weary of the fact that his side may be a little more jaded than the Os Celticos, as they are coming into the game after a difficult 0-0 draw in the miweek against PSG.
Also, Reala s long list of walking wounded is another thing that is set to give manager Benitez a bit of a headache. While key players like wingman Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have already been out with injuries, striker Karim Benzema is also doubtful, after he picked up an injury on international duty, with France. Benzema was rested in the midweek, against PSGd, but it is not yet clear whether the Frenchman would be fit for this top of the table clash.
- A clean game of football is to be expected, as neither of the sides have had any player sent off, in their history of 38 head-to-head matches.
- With six goals and three assists, Celta Vigoa s Nolito has been involved in more goals than any other player, in La Liga this season.
- Real Madrid CF have the best defensive record so far in La Liga this season, as they have conceded just two goals from eight matches.
- Celta Vigo have lost only one out of their last 17 home matches in La Liga. That one loss was a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid CF.
Player to watch out for:
Nolito (Celta Vigo)
Of course whenever Real Madrid CF plays a match, Cristiano Ronaldo is tipped to be the most dangerous player. However, looking at the other side of things, Celta Vigo attacker Nolito has been one of the most effective players this season, scoring six goals, and setting up three more. The 29-year-old proved to be the difference last weekend, against Villarreal and he could do it again, either with a goal or an assist.
Celta Vigo 1-1 Real Madrid CF
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We get a draw. Both the sides have been outstanding so far, and a draw would probably be a fair reflection of their unbeaten start to the season. However a draw is exactly what FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid would be hoping for, so they can leapfrog both Real and Celta Vigo into the top two positions on the table.
Blast from the past:
Celta Vigo 2-4 Real MArdid CF
Os Celticos started this match well, with Nolito opening the scoring, early on, but Real clawed their way back into the game, and went into the lead, only to have it cancelled at 2-2. However, a James Rodriguez deflected shot and a cool finish by Chicharito was all it took, for Real to clinch this six-goal thriller 4-2.