With their five-game winning streak halted with their draw against Elche, Real Madrid need to get back on the winning track to put pressure on Atlético in the fight for the lead. But the aspiration of the whites runs into a major enemy in its premiere of the new year, Eduardo Coudet’s Celta. The arrival of the Argentine coach to the blue bench has changed the face of a team that was touching the relegation places when the former player of the olive box was commissioned to relieve Óscar García Junyent. Seven days later, he envisions the area that gives access to Europe, after adding 16 points in his last six games on the back of the fashion couple of the championship, which includes the ‘top scorer’ Aspas and Nolito.
The duo made up of the forward from Moaña and the winger from Sanlúcar de Barrameda has recovered the chemistry that gave Celta days of wine and roses in the 2015-2016 campaign, when the Galician team, under the tutelage of Eduardo Berizzo at the time, finished sixth in La Liga and reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey. Their alliance broken a year later with the departure of the Cadiz to Manchester City, nothing was the same again in Vigo, not even after their reunion in the summer of 2019. But the landing of Chacho has reestablished his association with some scary numbers : five goals and as many assists from the ’10’ in the last seven games; four goals in those same games of the ‘9’, which had not been released until the changing of the guard on the bench.
Breaking the great offensive moment that Celta is going through, which closed the best month of December in its history with sixteen goals in favor and only two against, will be one of the challenges that Real Madrid will have to face in order to make their setback on Wednesday at the Martínez Valero. Gored again by a rival from the bottom of the table, the whites will try to redeem themselves so as not to lose the jump with respect to an Atlético that starts with a two-point advantage and two parties less than Zidane’s battalion.
The rojiblancos barely show cracks and there is little margin for error, so Everything indicates that Zidane will once again entrust himself to his trusted block, the one that he put together for the finals against Sevilla, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Atlético and that has barely played out of obligation in the form of sanctions or injuries.
Another chance for Hazard
After the umpteenth attempt to recover Marcelo for the cause has failed, the normal thing is for the Marseillais to return Mendy to the left side of a rearguard in which Nacho could find accommodation for him stomach problem that makes Sergio Ramos short. The other option is Militao, who has not played since the end of October. Above the main question is whether Asensio will remain on the left or Hazard will enter, who had thirteen minutes to shoot in front of Elche in which he was barely noticed. The Belgian, who did shine against Celta last year, hopes to make a clean slate after a fateful year. We love him and he wants it too. Eden has come here to show the player that he is and we trust him a lot, “proclaimed Zidane, who warned of the great level of his rival. “They are playing very well and have won six games out of seven. We want to have a good match even though it will be difficult. It is an opportunity to show the team that we are, “he said.
The celestial squad have not beaten Real Madrid at home in the league since the 2006-2007 campaign and he has succumbed in seven of his last eight visits to the Whites, although last year he drew a creditable draw thanks to a Santi Mina target in the final stretch of the match played at the Santiago Bernabéu. Coudet has the casualties due to injury of Juncá, Sergio Álvarez and Enre Mor, and he will not yet be able to count on the newly incorporated Aarón Martín, a left-back from Mainz who will have to wait for the opening of the transfer market on Monday to be registered in the championship.
- Real Madrid:
Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Lucas Vázquez, Asensio and Benzema.
Rubén Blanco, Mallo, Araujo, Murillo, Olaza, Tapia, Brais, Denis Suárez, Nolito, Aspas and Santi Mina.
From Burgos Bengoetxea (Basque Committee).
Alfredo Di Stéfano.