16 March 2019
Zinedine Zidane’s second mandate on Real Madrid’s bench starts this weekend, as Los Blancos welcome Celta Vigo to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Real’s disastrous performances over the past couple of weeks have seen them lose all chances of winning a major silverware this season. Two successive defeats to arch-rivals Barcelona have dumped the reigning European holders out of the Copa del Rey and La Liga title run-in, but a humiliating 4-1 home loss to Ajax is the most painful one, considering Los Merengues won’t have a chance to defend the Champions League title. Althgouh they’ve outplayed Real Valladolid last time out, the interim boss Santiago Solari had to step down in favor of the famous Frenchman. Zidane’s first task is to snap Real’s four-game home losing run across all competitions. In that period, Los Blancos have scored just two goals while conceding ten in the process. However, facing Celta is a nice place to start for the 46-year-old as Real beat the Celestes seven times in their previous eight H2H clashes at this venue, scoring 2+ match goals in each triumph.
Meanwhile, the visitors are desperate to bring a five-game LL winless run to an end (D1, L4) as they currently sit 18th, with a one-point deficit to 17th-placed Villarreal. But, winning away from home is easier said than done for the Célticos considering they’ve failed to pick up all three points on six consecutive LL road trips (D1, L5). Only three teams have suffered more losses on the road than Celta (8) this term. Furthermore, Celta’s tally of 26 goals conceded in 13 LL away fixtures is the league’s second-worst, with Fran Escriba’s men failing to preserve a clean slate away from home twelve times so far. Another potential problem for the recently appointed Escriba could be that his players have struggled to find the back of the net on both of their previous LL road meetings.
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