Madrid, May 16 (IANS) Real Madrid travel to play Celta Vigo away in what could be the defining moment of their La Liga football season on Wednesday night.
If Madid can win in the Balaidos Stadium in Vigo, they will go three points ahead of FC Barcelona with just one game remaining in the season, meaning a draw away against Malaga on Sunday night will make them the champions, reports Xinhua news agency.
A draw in Vigo would still leave Madrid’s fate in their own hands, needing a win to assure the title, while defeat would mean FC Barcelona, who have a better head-to-head goal difference to Madrid, will retain their title if they can beat Eibar at the weekend.
Wednesday’s match was originally due to be played earlier in the year, but was postponed due to high winds Balaidos, causing the game to be put back for safety reasons. The progress of both sides in Europe means Wednesday is the first and only available date in the fixture calendar.
Madrid were unhappy at the postponement at the time, but the result is that the game now comes at a moment when they are in a run of fine form with Isco ensuring that the absence of Gareth Bale through injury is not being noticed, while Celta are in a horrendous run.
The side, coached by Eduardo Berrizo (who has yet to confirm whether or not he will continue at the club next season) have lost their last six matches in the La Liga. That is partly because Berizzo focused on the Europa League and rested key players in league matches.
Although Iago Aspas will lead his strongest available 11 on Wednesday, it will be hard to break out of that negative dynamic.
Real Madrid meanwhile have won their last five league matches. And with only forward Gareth Bale, defender Pepe and right-back Dani Carvajal unavailable, head coach Zidane will be able to continue with the squad rotations which have served him so well of late.
His side will be aiming for the three points which should make the last game of the season a lot less testing on the nerves.
“It’ll be difficult because Celta are a good team. We know that they’re a good opponent and it’ll be difficult, just like it was against Sevilla and will be against Malaga. I’m expecting the same Celta as always. They’ve got a very good team and they’ll play their game,” Zidane said, as posted by his club’s website.
“Celta will give everything and it’ll be hard, but we’ll not change what we’ve been doing. We’re going to try to play really well in the two remaining games. What interests me the most is what we’re going to do.”