MX23RW : Saturday, February 22 21:45:11| >> :600:262421:262421:
Feb 16, 2020 at 8pm UK at ​Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 62,477
Real Madrid
2-2
Celta Vigo
Kroos (52'), Ramos (65' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-1)
Smolov (7'), Mina (85')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking for their sixth La Liga victory in a row when they welcome a struggling Celta Vigo team to the Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Los Blancos are currently top of La Liga with 52 points, three clear of second-placed Barcelona. Celta, meanwhile, sit just outside of the relegation zone in 17th ahead of this weekend's clash.


Match preview

Real Madrid's Luka Jovic celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on February 9, 2020© Reuters

While Barca have had plenty of problems in recent months, Madrid have been ticking along very nicely indeed and are currently the team at the top of La Liga after 23 matches of the 2019-20 campaign.

Indeed, Zinedine Zidane's side have lost just once in the league this term, picking up 15 wins in the process to sit three points clear at the summit. They have the best defensive record in Spain's top flight this season with just 14 conceded and will fancy their chances of picking up another victory on Sunday night.

Los Blancos were disappointingly knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Real Sociedad on February 6 but returned to winning ways in the league last weekend with an emphatic 4-1 success at Osasuna.

Zidane's team, who will be in Champions League last-16 action against English champions Manchester City later this month, have now won their last five in Spain's top flight, including a vital 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in their last league fixture at the Bernabeu.

Barca will have the chance to move level on points with their Clasico rivals when they face Getafe on Saturday afternoon, but it would be a surprise if the capital giants did not put another three points on the board against a Celta side that are currently struggling just outside the bottom three.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric in action against Celta Vigo in La Liga on August 17, 2019© Reuters

Celta are competing in their eighth straight season at this level of football, and they actually finished ninth, eighth and sixth between 2014 and 2016 during a successful period for the club.

Two 13th-place finishes were followed by 17th last season, though, and it does appear that the club will face another battle over the next few months to stay in the division.

There are only two points between Espanyol in 20th and 17th-placed Celta, and it would certainly not be a surprise if Oscar Garcia's side ended this weekend in the relegation zone.

The Sky Blues actually recorded a morale-boosting victory over Sevilla last weekend but have lost three of their last four away matches in La Liga, while they are without a league success at the Bernabeu since November 2006, which is an indication of the size of their task in this match.

Real Madrid La Liga form: DWWWWW
Real Madrid form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Celta Vigo La Liga form: LDDDLW
Celta Vigo form (all competitions): WDLDLW


Team News

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Madrid will again be without the services of Marco Asensio as the Spaniard continues to recover from a knee injury, but Eden Hazard is in line to return to the squad this weekend.

The Belgium international has been out since November with an ankle injury but has trained throughout this week and is expected to be on the bench for the clash with Celta.

James Rodriguez also completed Friday's training session as he looks to overcome a hip problem, but the Colombia international is reportedly unlikely to be involved in this match.

Gareth Bale is also available despite suffering a sprained finger against Osasuna last weekend; the Welshman could drop out of the XI, though, with Lucas Vazquez potentially earning a recall.

It could also be Luka Modric's turn to be left out of the midfield as Toni Kroos was an unused substitute in the impressive victory last weekend.

As for Celta, Hugo Mallo will miss out with the booking that he picked up against Sevilla, while David Junca and Claudio Beauvue are expected to miss out through injury.

Garcia otherwise has a strong squad to choose from, though, with Kevin Vazquez back from a ban.

Iago Aspas is again expected to be joined in attack by on-loan Lokomotiv Moscow forward Fedor Smolov, while on-loan Barcelona midfielder Rafinha should also continue in the XI.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, L Vazquez

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Blanco; Murillo, Araujo, Aidoo; K Vazquez, Yokuslu, Beltran, Olaza; Rafinha; Aspas, Smolov


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We say: Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo

It is difficult to make a case for Celta on Sunday night. The Sky Blues picked up a brilliant home win over Sevilla last time out but this is a completely different prospect; we are not expecting lots of goals but fancy Madrid to collect all three points in fairly routine fashion.


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Who will win Sunday's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo?

Real Madrid
Draw
Celta Vigo
Real Madrid
91.8%
Draw
6.6%
Celta Vigo
1.6%
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Gareth Bale in action for Real Madrid on January 4, 2020
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