Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid will be desperate to return to winning ways in La Liga when they take on mid-table Celta Vigo at the Estadio de Balaidos this weekend.

Celta Vigo would have welcomed the international break with open arms, having drawn a blank in back-to-back La Liga outings (D1, L1), casting doubt on their hopes of a first top-half finish since 2015/16. However, ‘Los Celticos’ are flying high at Balaidos, where they are unbeaten in their last six La Liga matches (W4, D2), netting an average of 2.0 goals per game. Celta’s impressive home form could inspire their bid to snap an embarrassing 15-match winless top-flight run against Real Madrid (D2, L13). Eduardo Coudet’s men have conceded an average of 3.5 goals per game during that 15-game sequence, suggesting staying tight at the back could be key to their potential success here. But a run of six defeats from their last seven La Liga H2Hs at Balaidos (D1) doesn’t sound promising.

On the other hand, Real Madrid headed into March’s international break with mixed feelings as a humiliating 4-0 home defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona followed up an epic Champions League second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain. Despite seeing their eight-game unbeaten La Liga run (W6, D2) come to a halt last time out, ‘Los Blancos’ remain in the driving seat to win the title this season as they hold a substantial nine-point lead on second-placed Sevilla. But after Barcelona put four unanswered goals past them on the eve of the international break, ‘Los Merengues’ face the prospect of conceding 2+ goals in consecutive La Liga matches for the first time since September 2019. Carlo Ancelotti’s men are likely to keep it that way after recording a clean sheet in all three league travels since the beginning of February (W2, D1).

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