Celta Vigo-Real Madrid Preview: Los Merengues target sixth straight victory
Jose Mourinho's side return to Liga action with a trip to Balaidos on Sunday after their comeback win against Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16
By Karthick Arvinth
Celta Vigo midfielder Natxo Insa will miss the Primera Division encounter against Real Madrid with a hamstring problem.
Defenders Hugo Mallo and Samuel (both knee) are also sidelined, but Roberto Lago could return after recovering from flu.
Madrid boss Jose Mourinho will be without Angel Di Maria, who suffered a hamstring injury in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Manchester United.
Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso are unlikely to be risked after playing through niggling injuries at Old Trafford, while Cristiano Ronaldo (illness) is a minor doubt.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Celta Vigo have won just one of their last eight matches in La Liga (W1, D2, L5).
- The Galician outfit have lost their last five Liga encounters against Real Madrid at Balaidos.
- Celta's last home Liga win over Madrid was a 3-0 success in May 2001.
- Real Madrid are on a five-match winning run in all competitions.
- But Los Merengues have only won four of their last nine away games across all competitions, losing three in the process.
- With his winner against Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) surpassed Eusebio's record of 46 goals to become the leading Portuguese goalscorer in the European Cup.
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Top 3 Predictions
Celta 0-4 Real Madrid CF
- 14.9 %
Celta 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 12.53 %
Celta 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 9.58 %
|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|
|Mar 8, 2014||Celta 0 - Atletico Madrid 2||LIGA|
|Mar 1, 2014||Elche 1 - Celta 0||LIGA|
|Feb 22, 2014||Celta 1 - Getafe 1||LIGA|
|Feb 15, 2014||Villarreal 0 - Celta 2||LIGA|
|Feb 10, 2014||Celta 0 - Athletic Bilbao 0||LIGA|
|3||Andres Tuñez Arceo||Defender|
|12||Gustavo Daniel Cabral||Defender|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
A string of solid performances for Celta Vigo saw the 25-year-old striker linked with a move to Chelsea in the January transfer window, before the English club eventually opted for Newcastle United's Demba Ba. Celta's top scorer with nine Liga goals this season, Aspas will look to make runs behind the Real Madrid defence at every opportunity.
The Portugal star was far from his best against Manchester United but still scored the winner to eliminate his former club from the Champions League. Ronaldo will be ready to pounce on any lapses from a Celta defence that has conceded eight goals in its last three outings.
Celta were comprehensively outclassed by Sevilla on Monday and face an uphill fight to save themselves from relegation. Cup wins over Barcelona and United have transformed Real's season, and they will now look to kick on and finish strongly in La Liga.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed