A buoyant Real Madrid travel to Vigo this Sunday looking to maintain their fine recent run of form which has seen them defeat Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey and La Liga as well as dumping Manchester United out of the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s side came in for a lot of criticism earlier in the season as poor performances led the team to fall way behind Barcelona in the title race but in the games that have mattered, Mourinho has come out on top and although a second successive league title is highly unlikely, Madrid have regained the upper hand in their battle with Barca and could very well go on to win the Champions League.
Celta will hope that the exploits in Manchester have drained the energy of Madrid and Mourinho’s side have struggled for consistency in games following midweek Champions League duties. They lost to Betis following their last visit to Manchester when taking on City in the group stages and also twice fell behind to Valladolid before eventually scraping a 3-2 win in the game immediately following their final group match against Ajax.
Something seems to have changed in the Madrid camp since them though and we would not expect another slip up this weekend particularly as the side look to apply just that little bit of extra pressure on Barcelona’s lead at the top.
It also helps that Celta have struggled badly of late, losing four of their last five and winning just one of the last nine – a run which started with a comprehensive 4-0 defeat to Madrid at the Bernabeu. New manager Abel Resino has been unable as yet to make an impact and his team remain in the relegation zone going into this weekend.
Part of the problem is Iago Aspas has been unable to contribute the same amount of goals as earlier in the season and the team’s top scorer has netted just once in the last nine games – incidentally that came in Vigo’s only recent victory. Celta did manage to win here when Madrid visited in the cup but the 4-0 win in the return leg at the Bernabeu saw Mourinho’s team safely through. Real have also won the last five times they have visited in the league.
With the disparity in confidence levels as a consequence of recent results, it is difficult to see anything but a comfortable Madrid win here. A bright start is anticipated from Madrid and odds of 11/10 (StanJames) that the away side lead at the end of both halves look too big.