Real Madrid - Celta Vigo Preview: Depleted Blancos plot return to winning ways
A crippling injury wave during the international break has decimated Jose Mourinho's squad ahead of Saturday's clash with the Galician outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu
By Karthick Arvinth
Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Nacho
Callejon, Modric, Ronaldo
Mallo, Cabral, Tunez, Lago
Fernandez, Park, Krohn-Dehli
Real Madrid are facing an ever-growing sick list that could rob them of a half a dozen players for their Primera Division encounter with Celta Vigo.
Full-backs Marcelo (foot), Alvaro Arbeloa (hamstring) and Fabio Coentrao (groin) are definitely out after sustaining injuries during international duty, while Sami Khedira, Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain are all racing to be fit for the Bernabeu match.
Coach Jose Mourinho looks set to ease his defensive crisis by handing a start to Castilla's Nacho at left-back, with Sergio Ramos likely to step in at the opposite flank.
Celta Vigo goalkeeper Javi Varas has resumed training after suffering a dislocated finger and may return to the starting XI.
Nacho Insa (knee) and Andres Tunez (back) will be handed late fitness tests, while striker Toni (ankle) is fit.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid are on a 15-match unbeaten Liga run at the Santiago Bernabeu (W12, D3).
- The Castilian side have already dropped 10 points in La Liga this term, just four fewer than in the whole of last season.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored eight goals in his last three matches for Real in all competitions.
- Celta Vigo are yet to win on their travels in La Liga this term, having lost all three of their away fixtures to date.
- However, Os Celestes triumphed against Madrid on their last two Liga visits to the Bernabeu.
- Celta's last defeat away to Real was a 4-2 reverse in February 2004.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 5-0 Celta
- 17.44 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Celta
- 9.01 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Celta
- 8.78 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 6, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Celta 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 10, 2013||Celta 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 9, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Celta 0|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Dec 12, 2012||Celta 2 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 20, 2012||Real Madrid CF 2 - Celta 0|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 9, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Levante 0||LIGA|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|3||Andres Tuñez Arceo||Defender|
|12||Gustavo Daniel Cabral||Defender|
The 27-year-old striker racked up his 100th international appearance for Portugal against Northern Ireland on Tuesday, but the occasion was marred by a below-par performance that drew criticism from the Portuguese media. Ronaldo will look to put a disappointing international break behind him and extend his remarkable start to the domestic season in Spain, where he has scored 14 goals after just 11 games in all competitions.
One of the standout performers for Denmark at Euro 2012, Krohn-Dehli showcased intelligent wing play and plenty of technical skill to score two goals in his country's short-lived campaign in Poland and Ukraine. The former Ajax winger will be a threat to whoever plays at right-back for the hosts, especially on the counterattack.
If this was being played a fortnight ago, the hosts would probably have run out comfortable winners. A glut of injuries at the Bernabeu gives the visitors a glimmer of hope to produce an upset, but Madrid still possess enough firepower to outscore their opponents.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed