Verdict: Real Madrid win
Best Odds: 8/11
Looking to make it back-to-back La Liga victories on Saturday night, Real Madrid will make the trip to the Balaídos when they meet Celta Vigo.
Starting with the hosts, after being left disappointed to have had to settle for a bottom-half finish last season, Celta Vigo appear some distance off mounting a European charge. Only managing to squeeze in a couple of friendly showdowns over the summer, Head Coach Eduardo Coudet saw his side open the 2022/23 La Liga campaign with a worrying display. Suffering a real second-half collapse at the Balaídos, the Galicia-based outfit eventually had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Espanyol. Likewise, along with signing off last season with a deserved 2-0 defeat away at Valencia, Celta won just a trio of their final 11 domestic outings. Knowing that they face a huge task when the defending champions come to town here, Coudet’s men did show some extended inconsistencies on home soil. It should be noted, including their 2-2 draw against Espanyol last weekend, the one-time Internacional has seen his side win just a pair of their last six appearances at the Balaídos.
Opening his La Liga account against Espanyol last weekend, Iago Aspas will lead Coudet’s charge on Saturday night.
Replacing Augusto Solari at half-time in Celta’s season-opener at the Balaídos, 27-year-old Renato Tapia will be hoping to keep his place here.
As for the visitors, making history last season as they lifted both the La Liga and Champions League trophies, Real Madrid simply have their sights set on defending their crown this season. Enjoying what has been a stellar rise since bringing Carlo Ancelotti back to the Spanish capital last summer, Los Blancos also opened the 2022/23 campaign with maximum points on the road. Despite coming up against a rugged Almeria side who were making their top-flight return, the ex-AC Milan boss saw his side claim a 2-1 victory away from the Bernabéu. Likewise, claiming this year’s Super Cup thanks to a 2-0 win against Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt on August 10th, Madrid will be looking to lay down another marker here. Picking up a 2-1 win when they faced off against Celta back in April, Ancelotti’s heavyweights hold a rather rampant record against Saturday’s hosts. In fact, the Whites have won each of their last four meetings by an aggregate score of 12-4.
Despite drawing a blank against Almeria last weekend, attacking talisman Karim Benzema will once again spearhead Ancelotti’s charge on Saturday night.
Luka Modric could come in and replace summer arrival Aurélien Tchouaméni at the heart of Los Blancos’ midfield here.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last faced off on April 2nd, Real Madrid picked up a 2-1 victory at the Balaídos.
- Los Blancos have won each of their last four meetings against Celta Vigo by an aggregate score of 12-4.
- Including a 2-2 draw against Espanyol last weekend, Celta have won just a pair of their last six La Liga matchups on home soil.
- Likewise, Saturday’s hosts signed off the 2021/22 campaign by winning just a trio of their final 11 La Liga appearances.
- Real Madrid lost just one of their final eight top-flight matchups away from the Bernabéu last season.
Opening the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-1 victory away at Almeria last weekend, Real Madrid have been tipped as a standout pick to defend their La Liga crown this season. Making history earlier in the year as they were crowned both domestic and European champions, Saturday’s guests should be smelling a chance to claim back-to-back wins here. Landing a 2-1 win when they last faced off against Celta Vigo on August 14th, Los Blancos have won each of their last four meetings against Coudet’s side. In fact, winning their last four trips to the Balaídos and bagging over 1.5 goals in each of those consecutive victories, we’re backing a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Real Madrid win
Best Odds: 8/11
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