17 February 2020
High-flying Real Madrid will look to maintain and possibly extend a three-point gap on second-placed Barcelona when they take on out-of-sorts Celta Vigo at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.
The hosts welcome in-trouble Celta on a run of five successive league triumphs, three of which have yielded a single-goal margin. One of three clubs yet to lose at home this season (W8, D3), Los Blancos have pulled off four wins in their last five La Liga (LL) home fixtures, keeping a clean sheet in all but one of those matches. Indeed, no team has more blank sheets than Real Madrid (12), with Zinedine Zidane’s men shipping the fewest league goals so far this campaign (14). Particularly cagey in the first half, they’ve conceded just one goal before the break in 11 LL home matches, netting 11 in the process. Massive favorites to earn three points, Real Madrid have won all seven of their previous top-flight H2Hs held here, beating Celta by a multiple-goal margin on six of those occasions.
Meanwhile, a stunning late comeback has seen Celta beat Sevilla 2-1 at home last time out to bring an eight-game winless LL run to a halt (D5, L3). Despite that success, the Celts remain just two points clear of the relegation zone, and their inability to pick up points away from home has its merits. In fact, only 30% (six) of their total 20 LL points came on the road, with Celta losing seven of 11 league away fixtures (W1, D3). Five of Celta’s eight LL road results (win/loss) have produced a margin of multiple goals, with seven seeing the winner on the day open the scoring (87.5%). Lapses in concentration after the break have seen Óscar García Junyent’s side concede five of the 20 LL away goals in the second half (75%).
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