Match Preview – Celta vs Real Sociedad

Matchday 29 – Celta Vigo v Real Sociedad – Match Preview

Saturday 12th March 2016

Celta Vigo will be looking to bounce back from a heavy 7-1 loss to Real Madrid when they take on Real Sociedad at their Estadio de Balaidos on Saturday evening. Celta have their eyes firmly on a place in the European competitions, and they are on schedule to mount a serious challenge to achieve this, they currently hold 7th position, with 42 points from 28 games.

Celta’s home record of 6 wins, 4 draws and 4 defeats is a bit patchy and Eusebio Sacristan’s men will be eyeing their fifth away win of the season, a substantial improvement on recent seasons.

Celta will be missing Fabian Orellana, who is currently suspended, Andreu Fontás and Pablo Hernández will also be absent because of injury.  Celta have scored 40 goals this season but conceded 51.  This figure is vastly inflated by the 3 away matches played since the beginning of February against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla in which Celta conceded a massive 17 times.

Real have not lost a La Liga fixture in Vigo since January 2008, and will be hopeful they can return home to San Sebastián with at least one point. Although recent results favour Real, their overall record in Vigo is not so strong.  History shows the Txuri-urdin have played 52 league games at the Galician side’s stadium, with a record of 11 victories, 14 draws and 27 defeats.

The reverse fixture played in late October in San Sebastián saw Celta win 2-3, with two goals from Iago Aspas and the winner scored by Pablo Hernandez, who struck in injury time as the visitors came from behind to win.

The major news story this week concerned the absence of Carlos Vela who reportedly called in sick for training on Monday, however his illness was later found out to be a totally bogus.  Vela was outed via social media, after he was spotted at the Chris Brown concert in Madrid, accompanied by his old friend Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann.

Interviewed about the incident later in the week club captain Xabi Prieto said “The coach has decided Vela will not train with us and as a group we respect the decision. It is surprising when a teammate does not come to training. It was not taken well in the dressing room and we have told him (Vela) that.  The first thing he did was show us his regret. If he could turn back time he would not do it again.”

This is another disappointing episode involving the Mexican Vela who’s commitment has been questionable all season.  His potential end of season departure to play in the MSL looks increasingly likely to happen and although he has generally been an excellent player for us his attitude and form this season has left a lot to be desired.

In other news Real goalkeeper Gero Rulli has been called up by Argentina’s national team for two World Cup 2018 qualifying matches. Argentina play Chile in Santiago on 24th March followed by a home fixture against Bolivia on 29th March.

Eusebio has named the following squad for the Celta Vigo match:

Rulli, Olazabal, Zaldua, Aritz Elustondo, Mikel, Diego Reyes, Iñigo, De la Bella, Yuri, Héctor, Markel, Pardo, Illarra, Xabi Prieto, Oyarzabal, Vela, Bruma and Jonathas.

Esteban Granero is suspended and Agirretxe, Zurutuza, Raul Navas and Canales are still injured.

Bookmakers Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:

Celta Vigo to win 11/10, Draw 12/5 and Real Sociedad to win 5/2.

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