Celta de Vigo vs Real Madrid

Celta, as most happen to know, is led by late-bloomer Nolito who has an impressive tally of six goals and three assists this season in eight matches.

He’s not someone who’ll control the game throughout, but his bursts of brilliance cutting in from the left wing will provide a stern test to Danilo and Raphael Varane.

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Nolito’s partners in crime will be Fabian Orellana and Iago Aspas in the 4-3-3 preferred by manager Eduardo Berizzo.Don’t be surprised if Celta holds the possession battle as they’re second in the league in that aspect (59.7 percent) and third in pass completion success (84 percent), which in turns leads to their high shot count (15.5 per game).

While Celta is second in the league in terms of goals scored (17), they’re middle of the pack in goals conceded (eight, and only two clean sheets so far) so despite Cristiano Ronaldo being the only frontline starter for Real Madrid who isn’t injured, Benitez’s men should be able to fashion a few chances for themselves.

However, despite the goals they’ve conceded Celta concedes the second fewest shots per game in the league (10.6) so Real Madrid’s attackers will have to be more prolific than what we’ve seen this season.

Celta’s backline is relatively nondescript, Hugo Mallo and Jonny have some potential and are pretty strong tacklers but they are a notable downgrade from the fullbacks Madrid faced midweek.

Gustavo Cabral is having a strong season at CB and he’ll need to have a strong outing as goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez is not much to write home about. Overall, Celta should have a nearly full compliment of players at its disposal.