Real Madrid will kick-off their season against Celta Vigo at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos in the La Liga on Saturday.
Los Blancos had a tumultuous time last season with a revolving door of managers. Zinedine Zidane left in the summer, to be replaced by Julen Lopetegui. The latter was sacked due to poor performances and replaced by Santiago Solari, who eventually made way for Zidane to return towards the end of the season.
These changes led to a 3rd place finish in the league, 19 points behind champions and eternal rivals Barcelona. Thus, club supremo Florentino Perez did not hesitate to splash the cash in the summer and Los Blancos bought a host of new players.Embed from Getty Images
Eden Hazard finally got his dream move from Chelsea while Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic were signed to bring freshness to the squad. In order to balance the wage bill, Mateo Kovacic made his loan move to Chelsea permanent while Marcos Llorente joined local rivals Atletico Madrid and Theo Hernandez left for AC Milan.
Thus, a lot is expected out of Zidane and his team this season and nothing but a win will suffice in a tough away fixture.
Meanwhile, Celta Vigo barely escaped relegation last season, finishing 17th in the league table. The Galicians know they are capable of playing much better and will look to start the season well to begin with.
Fran Escriba’s side lost Maxi Gomez to Valencia while Emre Mor was loaned to Galatasaray. In the incomings department, Denis Suarez from Barcelona and Santi Mina from Valencia are the prominent ones.Embed from Getty Images
Thus, Os Celestes are all set for the latest season and will look to get a result against Real Madrid in front of their home fans.
In terms of team news, Sergio Ramos handed Zidane a big boost after returning to full training this week. Los Blancos will, however, be without Marco Asensio with an ACL injury while Mendy and Brahim Diaz are expected to miss out with minor niggles.
Meanwhile, for Celta Vigo, Escriba will miss the services of Sergio Alvarez, Santi Mina and David Junca for the visit of Madrid.
Head-To-Head and Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid Betting TipsEmbed from Getty Images
In terms of head-to-head, Madrid have won 3 of the last 4 meetings between the sides. Coming to form, Madrid had a pre-season to forget, winning just 2 of their 7 pre-season games. They suffered 3 losses, including a 7-3 drubbing at the hands of league and cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.
Celta Vigo had a slightly better pre-season, winning their first 3 games, before losing the last 2 to dampen spirits.
Thus, neither team is high on confidence heading into the tie. However, Madrid’s quality and pedigree should see them edge out a closely-contested tie in the end.
Celta Vigo Predicted XI: Rubén; Kevin, Costas, Aidoo, Olaza; Beltrán, Lobotka, Méndez; Suárez, Aspas, Lauti
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Militao, Ramos, Varane; Carvajal, Modric, Casemiro, Marcelo; Isco, Hazard, Benzema