MX23RW : Saturday, June 25 23:39:29| >> :600:1922093:1922093:
[monks data]
Sep 12, 2020 at 3pm UK at Estadio Municipal de Ipurúa
0 - 0
Celta Vigo

Bigas (13'), Alvarez (41'), Diop (81')
Diop (87')

Nolito (37'), Olaza (73'), Junca (75'), Yokuslu (78')

Preview: Eibar vs. Celta Vigo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday afternoon's La Liga clash between Eibar and Celta Vigo, including team news and predicted lineups.

The opening match of the 2020-21 La Liga campaign will take place at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on Saturday afternoon with Eibar welcoming Celta Vigo.

Eibar finished 14th in Spain's top flight last term, while Celta ended the season in 17th, only just surviving in the league as they claimed one more point than Leganes in 18th.

Match preview

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Having claimed 10th, ninth and 12th in Spain's top flight between 2017 and 2019, there is no question that last season's 14th-place finish in La Liga was disappointing for Eibar.

Another campaign at this level of football was the priority, though, and they ultimately ended the season six points clear of the relegation zone, which was occupied by Leganes, Mallorca and Espanyol.

Eibar ended their 2019-20 season with a 4-0 defeat at Villarreal, but they have played four friendlies since then, beating Rayo Vallecano, drawing with Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao and losing to Leganes.

Damian Kadzior and Recio have both arrived this summer to boost the squad, but a number of players, including Fabian Orellana, Charles, Gonzalo Escalante and Pablo de Blasis, have moved on.

Celta Vigo players celebrate Iago Aspas's late goal against Barcelona on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Celta, meanwhile, only just survived in the top flight during the 2019-20 campaign, ultimately finishing the season in 17th spot, just one point clear of Leganes, who were relegated in 18th.

The Sky Blues only won seven of their 38 league matches last term, drawing a league-high 16 matches as they struggled to put together a run of consistency which would have moved them up the table.

Celta have boosted their squad with the arrivals of Miguel Baeza, Renato Tapia and Alvaro Vadillo this summer, while the likes of Pione Sisto and Robert Mazan have moved on.

Oscar Garcia's side have also lost Rafinha and Fedor Smolov, with the pair heading back to Barcelona and Lokomotiv Moscow respectively after loan spells at the Balaidos last term.

It does appear that the team will again be heavily reliant on Iago Aspas when it comes to goals, and the 33-year-old has now struck an impressive 102 times in 193 appearances since returning in 2015.

Eibar pre-season form: WLDD

Celta Vigo pre-season form: DWD

Team News

Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot with Hugo Mallo © Reuters

Eibar could be without the services of Cote due to the knee problem that the defender picked up towards the end of last season, meaning that Rober Correa is likely to feature at left-back.

Sergi Enrich and Kike Garcia could be given the nod to start as the front two in a 4-4-2 formation, with Sergio Leon and Takashi Inui operating in the wide areas.

Paulo Oliveira was an unused substitute in Eibar's final league match of last season, but the Portuguese is expected to return to the starting XI on the opening weekend of the new campaign.

As for Celta, Sergio Alvarez and Ruben Blanco remain on the sidelines through injury, meaning that the inexperienced Ivan Villar will start between the sticks.

Tapia, who has arrived from Feyenoord, could be handed a starting role in the middle of the park, while Nolito and Edgar Mendez are likely to support Aspas in a forward position.

There could also be a start for 23-year-old Turkey international Emre Cor, who is back with the Spanish club after loan spells with Galatasaray and Olympiacos.

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Correa, Oliveira, Bigas, Soares; Leon, Diop, Exposito, Inui; Garcia, Enrich

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Villar; Mallo, Aidoo, Araujo, Olaza; Tapia, Beltran; Mor, Mendez, Nolito; Aspas

SM words green background

We say: Eibar 1-1 Celta Vigo

Both of these teams will be eyeing three points on the opening weekend, but we are struggling to separate them. Celta have actually only won two of their last 31 away La Liga matches, although we do fancy the visitors to pick up a share of the spoils on Saturday afternoon.

ID:413716: cacheID:413716:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:9218:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!

Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Athletic Bilbao's Dani Garcia in action with Barcelona's Rafinha on August 19, 2019
Read Next:
Leeds 'eyeing £14m deal for Barcelona's Rafinha'

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
4FC AndorraFC Andorra00000000
8Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
15Racing de SantanderRacing00000000
16Real Oviedo00000000
17Real ZaragozaZaragoza00000000
19Sporting GijonSporting Gijon00000000
21UD Ibiza00000000
22Villarreal II00000000

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Match previews - Daily
Transfer Talk Daily
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!