Preview: Real Madrid v Celta Vigo

Real Madrid will be aiming to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they host a Celta de Vigo side struggling for form in La Liga.

La Liga
12 May 2018
Gameweek 37
Kick-off: 20H45 local time
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Referee: P. Gonzalez
Assistants: J. Fernandez, C. Garcia
Fourth official: A. Lopez

Head-to-head summary:


Real Madrid 41 24 5 12
Celta 41 12 5 24

Previous encounter:

Celta Vigo 2-2 Real Madrid 07/01/18 (La Liga)

Celta goalscorers: D. Wass (33′), M. Gomez (82′)

Real goalscorers: G. Bale (36′, 38′)

Players to watch:

Real may be looking at winger Gareth Bale to provide the cutting edge in the final third. The Welshman has been directly involved in three of the club’s last six goals at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring two and assisting in one.

The form man for Celta in recent games has been Maxi Gomez. Despite the team’s lack of wins, the striker has scored twice in their last three league outings and sports 17 goals in the top flight this season.

Team form and manager quotes:

With two fixtures left in the league, Los Blancos still have a chance to overtake local rivals Atletico Madrid and move into second position, with a three-point gap separating the neighbours.

Zinedine Zidane’s side have not won in their last three games across all competitions. They drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich, which saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League final, before another 2-2 draw with Barcelona in the league. Their last outing was a 3-2 defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday.

Asked about the criticism his team received after the loss to Sevilla, Zidane told the press: “We can’t control the criticism, it’s part of our life. We do this work and we have to accept criticism when things do not go well for us.

‘The fault is not those who play less, it’s everyone and the first to blame is me. We are all in the same boat but I’m responsible.”

On the Celta game, he added: “It’s a shame, it’s the last game in our stadium. We want to give the joy to our fans by winning the game.”

Meanwhile, Celta are targeting their first win in six La Liga outings. In their last five league games they lost against Leganes and Villarreal, while drawing with Barcelona, Valencia and most recently Deportivo La Coruna.

Juan Carlos Unzue’s men are 12th in the standings, but could climb into the top half with a victory over Real. They will take heart from the fact that their last visit to the Bernabeu resulted in a 2-1 victory in the Copa del Rey last year.

Unzue told the press after the draw against Depor: “We have to play like the first day, as if we were playing for our lives. One is a professional in the good and the bad times. Playing at the Bernabeu is a motivation and then we can say goodbye at home against Levante.”

Team news:

Real will be missing injured duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Daniel Carvajal, while Isco should be ready to feature after being rested on Wednesday.

Iago Aspas could return to the starting line-up for the visitors, but Emre Mor and Nemanja Radoja are both doubts for the clash.