Real Madrid will be bidding to secure back-to-back wins at the start of their 2022-23 La Liga campaign when they make the trip to Celta Vigo on Saturday night.
Los Blancos opened their title defence with a 2-1 victory over newly-promoted Almeria last time out, while Celta started their season with an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Espanyol.
Celta were actually two goals ahead against Espanyol in last weekend’s contest, with Iago Aspas and Goncalo Paciencia on the scoresheet, and the Sky Blues had the two-goal advantage until the 72nd minute, when Edu Exposito halved the deficit in Vigo.
Joselu then scored from the penalty spot in the eighth minute of added time at the end of the 90 to make it an incredibly frustrating start to the new season for Eduardo Coudet’s side, who should have seen out the match to claim all three points on the opening weekend.
Celta finished 17th in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, but they have not been in any relegation danger in the last two campaigns, claiming eighth and 11th position respectively, and the team will be bidding to push close to the European positions in 2022-23.
A busy transfer window has seen Williot Swedberg, Luca de la Torre, Carles Perez, Oscar Mingueza, Unai Nunez, Agustin Marchesin, Julen Lobete and Oscar Rodriguez all arrive, but there have also been a number of departures, so there is a fresh look to the squad this season.
Celta have lost each of their last four La Liga games with Real Madrid, while they have not beaten Los Blancos in Spain’s top flight since May 2014, which is an indication of the size of their task in this match.
Real Madrid were far from convincing on the opening weekend of the new La Liga season, falling behind in the sixth minute of their clash with Almeria courtesy of a goal from Largie Ramazani.
Lucas Vazquez managed to level the scores in the 61st minute, though, before David Alaba came up with the winner in the 75th minute to ensure that the champions would open their title defence with a win.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who won a Champions League and La Liga double last season, have already claimed silverware this season, beating Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup last week.
There has still only been two first-team additions at Bernabeu this summer, with Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni joining the club, and Los Blancos continue to insist that their business has been completed.
Casemiro is currently being strongly linked with a switch to Manchester United, though, which could see a new midfielder arrive before the deadline, while it would also not be a surprise to see a back-up centre-forward join the club over the next couple of weeks.
Real Madrid did a league double over Celta last term, including a 2-1 victory in Vigo, and they have triumphed on each of their last four visits to their opponents this weekend.
Celta Vigo La Liga form:
Real Madrid La Liga form:
We say: Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid had to come from behind to win narrowly at Almeria, and we are expecting this to be another tricky match for the champions considering Celta’s quality. It would not be a surprise to see a draw in Vigo, but Real Madrid should just have enough to make it two wins from two at the start of the new season.