Real Madrid face Celta de Vigo at the Balaidos Stadium today, as they look to maintain their advantage over Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title.
Pep and Dani Carvajal are expected to miss out as they’re still nursing injuries, while Nacho Fernandez will miss out due to suspension. However, Zinedine Zidane had a positive report on Gareth Bale’s injury situation in his press conference and reported that the Welshman was back in training.
Bale hasn’t featured since Real’s 2-3 loss against Barcelona in April and Zidane said, “He’s much better and has already been out training on the field, but not with the team. We’re happy with that, but we’re only thinking about tomorrow’s match and he’ll not travel to Vigo.”
The Frenchman also revealed that midfielder James Rodriguez did not train with the squad, after picking up a knock in their victory against Sevilla last week. so it is unlikely we that we may see the Colombian feature in Real Madrid’s starting XI tonight.
Marcelo will likely return to left-back and Luka Modric, Casemiro and Isco are all expected to start in midfield, having been left out of the starting XI against Sevilla last week. Karim Benzema and Lucas Vazquez are also expected to be brought back to Real Madrid’s attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lucas Vazquez are all on the brink of suspension, but are still expected to start tonight’s tie and Zidane stressed the need to be positive. “Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lucas Vazquez will play if they have to. They’ll do their best not to get a card. You have to be positive.”
This is the fourth time this season that Real face Celta. Besides their La Liga fixture at the Bernabeu earlier in the season, the two sides met in the quarterfinal of the Copa del Rey, of which Real were knocked out over the course of two legs.
Each side have come out victors once with a 2-1 scoreline, with the third meeting resulting in a 2-2 draw. That draw at the Balaidos ended Real Madrid’s chances of a treble and Los Blancos would like nothing more than to avenge that cup defeat.
Real Madrid are a mere 4 points way from securing the title and a victory tonight would ensure that only require a point against Malaga in their next game. Therefore, they cannot slip up now and with most of the pressure on Real Madrid for this tie, they will certainly not be looking to take any prisoners in Galicia.