Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid Preview

Spanish La Liga | Saturday 24 October | Balaidos Vigo, Spain | 16:00

On Saturday afternoon, table-toppers Real Madrid will take on second placed Celta Vigo. Os Celestes have been a surprise package at this early stage of the new campaign, keeping up with the Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, with only goal difference separating the top three sides. 

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To Win (90mins)
Celta Vigo 3/1
Draw 3/1
Real Madrid 8/10

Celta Vigo

Celta Vigo moved level on 18 points at the top of La Liga alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona, after Nolito's 90th-minute winner earned them a 2-1 victory at 10-man and previous leaders Villarreal. The result means Celta Vigo extended their unbeaten run to five wins and three draws from eight matches and move into second on the log. 

Os Celestes will need to maintain if not better the intensity they have shown thus far. Their backline has been resolute in defending whilst their attacking force has been lethal. If they are to get anything out of Real Madrid, they will need to be cautious in their approach but merciless on the break and tight at the back. Manager Eduardo Berizzo knows the obvious quality that Real Madrid posses, and will surely be conjuring up a tactical approach to give the under dogs the upper hand if possible. Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas has been in sensational scoring four goals and set up one more in the eight league appearances for his team this season. 

The 28-year old’s hard work and hold up play has been outstanding and his performances show just what he brings to the table. Celta Vigo’s danger man, however, has been the influential Nolito. The Spaniard has scored six goals in his eights league appearances for Os Celestes, sometimes singlehandedly dragging his team over the victory line. The wide-man is ever ready to take on fullbacks with his pace and trickery and he will definitely be a key player for the hosts.  

Real Madrid

Real Madrid earned a much needed win in a rainy, record-breaking match against a naive Levante at the Bernabeu last Saturday, earning a commanding 3-0 victory. The win sees Los Blancos go top of the table, as they maintained their unbeaten record, scoring an impressive 18 goals and conceding just twice in the process. 

Manager Rafa Benitez has so far proved his worth as the man to take Real forward, and he will be looking to knock Celta Vigo off their high horse. He has brought another dimension to Madrid’s already fantastic play. Los Blancos has been solid defensively; playing a risky high line to push their opponents deeper into their own end. James Rodriguez, Daniel Carvajal and Luka Modric are still out injured, but Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Pepe are all likely to make a return; whether they will start is still unknown. Marcelo has been outstanding with his defensive displays and his roaring runs have been just as eye-catching, turning defensive into attack. 

Gareth Bale has played in a free-role under Benitez and his pace, power and eye for goal will be needed to help his team past a tricky Celta Vigo side. The Welshman hasn’t been at his best for Los Blancos and this will be the perfect time for him to turn his form around. Cristiano Ronaldo added yet another remarkable milestone to his growing tally of records with a goal against Levante. The Portuguese striker overtook Real Madrid legend Raul at the top of the club's all-time scoring list with 324 goals. Ronaldo, 30, has scored 12 goals in his past nine games for Real in all competitions at the time of writing, and he is always eager to add to his goal tally. He is the full package; lightning quick, as cunning as a fox, a master of trickery with quick feet and an addiction to scoring goals. Ronaldo is every defenders worst nightmare and Celta Vigo will need to do all they can to keep the record-breaker quiet.  

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Probable line-ups:
Celta Vigo: 4-3-3
Alvarez; Mallo, Cabral, Gomez, Castro; Hernandez, Fernandez, Wass; Orellana, Nolito, Aspas

Real Madrid: 4-3-3
Navas; Danilo, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema

Betting Verdict: Real Madrid 8/10
Celta Vigo and Real Madrid are the only two unbeaten teams left in the league. The home side will have belief that they can topple the giants, just as they did Barcelona last month, thrashing the champions 4-1. However, Real Madrid boast one of, if not the best attacking threats in the league. They have also shown they are not only outstanding going forward, but solid defensively as well. Los Blancos pulled the double over Celta Vigo last season and should claim maximum points once again.  

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!