The turbulence at Real Madrid is still swirling as Los Blancos prepare to kick off their La Liga campaign with a trip to Celta Vigo on Saturday. Los Celestes finished one place above the relegation zone last season, but can the home team upset the odds this weekend?
Where and when: Balaidos – 17 August, kick-off 16:00
Where you can see Celta Vigo vs. Real Madrid: William Hill live streaming
Last time: Isco and Gareth Bale were on target as Real beat Celta 2-0 at the Bernabeu back in March.
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
Despite a huge outlay on a number of incredible talents, it’s been anything but a summer of love for Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid. The French boss has cut a frustrated figure at his board’s failure to land top target Paul Pogba and ship out the unwanted Gareth Bale, but now he needs to focus on winning football matches after a dreadful pre-season.
With rumours intensifying every day that Neymar could be on his way to the Bernabeu before the transfer window closes, that could be tough though. It’s often a soap opera where Madrid are concerned, but this sumer has been one of the most outrageous. Vast sums have been splurged on the likes of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, but it remains to be seen whether that’s enough to reign champions Barcelona in.
La Blaugrana finished a massive 19 points clear of their Clasico rivals last season, and have added World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to their ranks. Madrid meanwhile suffered the worst pre-season of any La Liga team, so there’s an argument for saying this is the perfect time for Celta Vigo to play the capital club.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Both teams to score||1/2||Offer|
|Madrid to win 2-1||15/2||Offer|
|Second half to be highest scoring||10/11||Offer|
Fran Escriba’s side were awful for the majority of last season though. The Celticos boss has at least had a full pre-season to work with his squad after arriving at Balaidos in March, as he aims to restore the club back to the sort of position that saw them reach the Europa League semi-finals as recently as 2017.
Celta have had some positive results and performances in the build-up to the new campaign, beating Ligue 1 outfit Lille, and only losing narrowly to Serie A side Lazio. At 19/4, the home team could be worth a punt as an outside bet to pick up a surprise victory this weekend. Real still start as the favourites though, despite all the aggro and poor performances.
Conceding seven goals to city rivals Atletico was a low point of their summer, but Los Blancos have so much quality in their squad and are 4/6 to start their season with a positive result and three points. They are unbeaten in their last 10 La Liga matches against Celta after all, winning nine of those and scoring 37 goals in the process. The draw could be worth a look at 7/2 though considering Madrid’s current malaise.
One to watch for Celta Vigo: Incredibly for a team who finished 17th in the league, Iago Aspas fired in 20 La Liga goals last season. He is available at 15/2 to get his season off to a scoring start by breaking the deadlock on Saturday.
One to watch for Real Madrid: All eyes will be on Eden Hazard this weekend, as the former Chelsea man makes his Los Blancos debut. Despite reporting for pre-season overweight, the Belgian is a magician with the ball at his feet and 9/2 to open the scoring on Saturday.
Long shot: Celta last beat Real in La Liga courtesy of a 2-0 victory back in 2014. Madrid aren’t in a good place as the new season gets underway, and the home team could be worth a couple of euros to win 2-0 again at 40/1.