Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Celta Vigo vs Almeria

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 27 Feb 2024

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Verdict: Celta Vigo win & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 11/4

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Two sides who find themselves scrapping it out at the foot of the La Liga table, Celta Vigo will welcome Almeria to Balaidos on Friday night.

Celta Vigo

Starting with the hosts, while Celta Vigo might have opened up February with a crucial 3-0 romp away at Osasuna, the Sky Blues have rightfully come under a huge amount of scrutiny this season. Last seen eventually having to settle for an action-packed 2-2 stalemate away at Cadiz, it is no secret that Rafa Benitez has a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders at Balaidos. In fact, along with crashing out of the Copa del Rey on January 23rd following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad, the former Newcastle boss has seen his squad muster just a single victory from any of their previous seven domestic appearances across all competitions. With that extended crisis underlined by a 3-2 loss against Getafe on February 11th, Celta Vigo have also gained a reputation for their extended struggles on home soil. Including a 2-1 defeat against Barcelona in their last appearance at Balaidos, Benitez’s men have lost all of their previous four home fixtures by an aggregate score of 6-2.

Team News

Still dealing with a long-term Achilles tendon injury and not making a single La Liga appearance since the start of October, Celta Vigo will once again be without Ghana international Joseph Aidoo on Friday night. Likewise, sustaining a recent thigh issue, Serbian defender Mihailo Ristic remains a real doubt here.

Now finding the net in back-to-back La Liga appearances, one-time Liverpool striker Iago Aspas will spearhead Benitez’s charge this weekend. Former Athletic Bilbao star Unai Nunuez will once again partner Carl Starfelt at the heart of Celta’s defence.

Almeria

As for the visitors, although Almeria might have sprung an upset last time out as they snatched a thrilling 2-2 draw at home against Atletico Madrid, they have endured a public La Liga nightmare this season. While La Union might have clung to their top-flight status last year, Gaizka Garitano’s men are sat rock-bottom of the table and have remarkably collected just nine points from any of their 26 La Liga appearances. Yet to claim a single top-flight victory and breaking a host of unwanted records this season, the Andalusia-based outfit have also continued to show some glaring defensive issues. Holding the worst defensive tally among Spain’s elite this year and conceding 54 La Liga goals, Almeria are simply hoping to find some kind of domestic boost on Friday night. It should also be noted, when Garitano’s side welcomed Celta Vigo to the Power Horse Stadium back on September 1st, they slumped to an action-packed 3-2 defeat.

Team News

Not making a single domestic appearance since back on October 6th and still dealing with an ankle injury, Almeria will once again be without the services of Mali international Ibrahima One on Friday night. Likewise, former Marseille striker Luis Suarez remains sidelined with a foot issue.

Bagging a stunning brace against Atletico Madrid last week, AC Milan loanee Luka Romero will keep his spot in Garitano’s side. Returning from a two-match ban, 31-year-old Leo Baptistao could be handed a full recall at Balaidos.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Celta Vigo and Almeria met for their reverse La Liga showdown back on September 1st, the Sky Blues picked up a 3-2 victory at the Power Horse Stadium.
    • However, Friday’s hosts have recorded just a single victory from any of their previous seven domestic appearances.
    • Almeria have remarkably failed to record a single victory from any of their 26 La Liga appearances this season.
    • Celta Vigo have lost all of their previous four La Liga showdowns at Balaidos by an aggregate score of 6-2.
    • Five of Almeria’s last six domestic showdowns outside of Andalusia have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    Two sides who find themselves at the heart of their own respective La Liga nightmares, Celta Vigo know that they face a season-defining showdown on Friday night. Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny this season and with plenty of pressure on their shoulders here, Benitez’s men should at least be excited by their most recent battle against Almeria. Landing an action-packed 3-2 victory when they travelled to the Power Horse Stadium back on September 1st, we are expecting a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Celta Vigo win & Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 11/4

    Bookmaker: Olympusbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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