?Real Madrid will look to continue their reign at the top of La Liga when they host struggling Celta Vigo on Sunday night.
A 4-1 league victory at Osasuna got Los Blancos back to winning ways following their thrilling 4-3 defeat to Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey, and they find themselves leading the division with a three point gap to second-place Barcelona.
On the other hand, a crucial 2-1 victory over Sevilla saw Celta Vigo snap a four game winless run. However, they hover dangerously over the relegation zone, being just two points clear of 18th place Mallorca.
How to Watch on TV
|?When Is Kick Off?||?Sunday 16 February|
|?What Time Is Kick Off?||?20:00 (GMT)|
|?Where Is it Played?||?Santiago Bernabéu Stadium|
|?TV Channel/Live Stream?||?Premier Sports Player|
Real have several injuries heading into this clash, chiefly among their attacking stars.
Marco Asensio and James Rodriguez remain out with knee and hip problems respectively, while Mariano Diaz is unlikely to play having picked up a knock and Belgian winger Eden Hazard is also a doubt.
Celta will be without captain Hugo Mallo, who is suspended after being booked in their last game against Sevilla. Centre back Jeison Murillo picked up a knock in the same game and is a doubt, while defender David Junca also may not be risked.
|?Real Madrid||?Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Vazquez.|
|?Celta Vigo||?Blanco; Murillo, Araujo, Aidoo; Vazquez, Beltrán, Yoku?lu, Rafinha, Olaza; Aspas, Smolov.|
Head to Head Record
When the two teams met on the opening day of the season in August, it was Real who swept Celta aside in an assured 3-1 victory. Kroos, Benzema and Vazquez all scored for Los Blancos while Iker Losada netted a consolation goal for the hosts.?
Zinedine Zidane’s side have a great overall record against the visitors, having won the last four encounters, and in the two most recent games they kept clean sheets at the Bernabeu.
However, Celta have previously shown they can pull off upsets, beating the current league leaders on the road in 2017.
?Real have had a mixed February so far, starting the month with a 1-0 win in the Madrid derby against rivals ?Atlético.
They then went on to lose 4-3 in an entertaining Copa del Rey quarter-final clash against Real Sociedad before travelling to Osasuna and comfortably strolling to a 4-1 victory.
Celta have also had a mixed set of results coming into Sunday’s clash. A goalless draw at home to Eibar was followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at Valencia, but they recently picked up a crucial 2-1 win against Sevilla which could prove vital to their hopes of prolonging their La Liga status for next season.
Here’s how both sides have fared in their last five matches.
|?Real Madrid||?Celta Vigo|
|?Osasuna 1-4 Real Madrid (9/2)||?Celta Vigo 2-1 Sevilla (9/2)|
|?Real Madrid 3-4 Real Sociedad (6/2)||?Valencia 1-0 Celta Vigo (1/2)|
|?Real Madrid 1-0 Atlético Madrid (1/2)||?Celta Vigo 0-0 Eibar (26/1)|
|?Zaragoza 0-4 Real Madrid (29/1)||?Mirandés 2-1 Celta Vigo (23/1)|
|?Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid (26/1)||?Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Celta Vigo (19/1)
While the recent victory against Sevilla will give Celta hope that they can shock the league leaders, Real should be considered heavy favourites to win on Sunday.
They have a fantastic record at home against their struggling opponents and have kept two clean sheets against them in their last two encounters at the Bernabeu, also winning the last four clashes with Os Celestes.
Los Blancos will be expected to pick up the three points and maintain their lead at the top of ?La Liga ahead of rivals ?Barcelona.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Celta Vigo