Monday, February 6, 2023

Prediction: Celta Vigo vs Sevilla

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 29 Dec 2022

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Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 13/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Celta Vigo are set to play host to Sevilla at the Estadio Balaidos on Friday evening within the 15th round of the season in the Spanish La Liga. The match is a very important one for both sides, as they struggle to achieve the same goal – to avoid relegation.

Celta Vigo

Celta were in a similar situation in 2019/20, when they finished 17th and avoided the drop by a single point. In the two seasons that followed, they were relatively safe throughout and ended them around the middle of the table. This time, however, it seems it will be another scramble.

As things stand at the moment, Carlos Carvalhal’s team is in 17th place again, with only 12 points from the 14 matches they’ve played so far. Espanyol are directly above with the same tally, while Getafe sits two points further up. There’s a long way to yet, but none of them will be feeling safe right now.

Celta’s competitive last-six run consists of a 1-1 draw at home against Getafe, a 3-1 defeat away to Almeria, a 1-2 defeat at home at the hands of Osasuna, a goalless draw away to Rayo Vallecano, and two Copa del Rey triumphs either side of the World Cup in Qatar, 1-6 away to Algar in mid-November, and 0-3 away to Gernika last week. During the World Cup, they played two friendlies, a 1-1 draw against Portuguese Boavista, and a 3-1 victory over Premier League side Brentford.

Team News

Carvalhal is expected to change things back to normal after fielding a somewhat rotated side against Gernika, with Iago Aspas set to return to the front line, Kevin Vazquez to take his place on the right defensive flank, and Agustin Marchesin to stand between the posts.

Carles Perez and Franco Cervi are likely to flank Aspas upfront, with Goncalo Paciencia to drop to the bench.

Sevilla

Celta may have found themselves in a similar position once every few years, but being involved in a relegation battle is obviously a great shock for Sevilla and their supporters, as well as most football lovers around the continent.

A team that continuously does very well in Europe, they were involved in the group stage of the Champions League and finished third, behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund and ahead of Copenhagen. That, of course, means they’ll be going back to the Europa League now, where they hold the record with six trophies.

But in the Spanish top flight, Sevilla are actually in the relegation zone at the moment, sitting 18th with one point less than Celta and on the same tally as Cadiz in 19th. It’s obviously a dire situation, and the fact that it’s all but over for Elche (20th place with four points from 14 games) isn’t much of a consolation. The last time Sevilla sat so low was in 1999/20, when they did get relegated at the end.

The most worrying aspect for Jorge Sampaoli and his men is that they haven’t won a league match since beating Mallorca in mid-October. Their last-six run in all competitions, however, has two triumphs in it. It starts with a 3-0 win at home against Copenhagen. Then they lost 0-1 at home to Rayo Vallecano and 3-1 away to Manchester City. A 1-1 draw away to city rivals Real Betis followed, and a 1-2 home defeat to Real Sociedad, before they managed to beat Torremolinos 0-3 away in the Copa del Rey after the World Cup. During the tournament in Qatar, they played three club friendlies, a 1-1 draw against AS Monaco, a 1-0 win over Benfica, and a 7-0 thrashing of FC Volendam.

Team News

Sampaoli, of course, cannot call upon Isco anymore. The former Real Madrid midfielder has had his contract terminated and left the club.

Of those who remain at the club, five more players are unavailable for selection for this match. Defender Tanguy Nianzou and midfielder Ivan Rakitic are suspended having picked up a red card each against Sociedad, while defender Marcao, midfielder Thomas Delaney and winger Jesus Corona are all injured.

Conclusion

Neither of these team will want to think about the prospect of losing this match, but on the other hand, both must look for a victory. We’re likely to see plenty of caution early in the game, with both sides attacking more and more as the contest progresses towards its end. It could easily go either way, but there shouldn’t be too many goals.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 13/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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