Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid

March 7, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Atletico Madrid will be looking to get their title bid back on track when they face Celta Vigo at Balaidos, with los Colchoneros hoping to build on a very good performance in the Madrid derby. The Sky Blues have seen their impressive run of results come to an end, but this is a perfect opportunity for Luis Enrique’s charges to prove they can match even the best sides in the league.

Luis Enrique looking for a response

Having clinched La Liga survival on the final day of last season, Celta Vigo seriously reinforced the squad in the summer, with the likes of Rafinha, Aurtenetxe, Charles, Fontas and Nolito following boss Luis Enrique to Balaidos. Just like last term, the Sky Blues needed a while to hit the ground running, but they have shown a great deal of improvement since the turn of the year. Following the unfortunate defeat to Real Madrid, Celta won four of next six games to escape the danger zone, although they seem to be on the downtrend at the moment, having picked up just one point from last two league fixtures. The problem is they are now set to face very good Atletico Madrid side and Jose Enrique’s charges haven’t exactly impressed when facing Spain’s top teams this season. Having picked up just one point from five matches against league’s top 4 sides, the hosts don’t exactly have plenty of reason for optimism, especially since key players Rafinha Alcantara is a major doubt. Seeing as how they are at a safe distance from the bottom three, Celta can be trusted to adopt a positive approach, but they will have problems keeping opposition attackers at bay.

Rafinha Alcantara is doubtful with a toe injury, but Mario Bermejo has resumed full training and Alex Lopez and Nolito are back from suspension.

Amazing Madrid derby

Despite suffering some unexpected slip-ups of late, Atletico Madrid once again proved they have got to be considered serious title contenders in La Liga, having overcome all their problems to produce a very good performance against Real Madrid. Los Colchoneros did brilliantly to recover from the early goal they conceded, taking the lead just before the half-time break, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw as Cristiano Ronaldo scored some ten minutes from time. Atletico thus remained three points behind leaders Real Madrid, but the promising display against mighty los Blancos should keep them in good stead for the Celta game. Diego Simeone did have quite a few players on international duty in midweek, but with most of them playing in Europe, he was able to gather them for Thursday’s training session, while the team will also train on Friday ahead of the macth at Balaidos. Los Colchoneros wil be facing AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Diego Simeone can still be trusted to field a very strong side at the weekend in an attempt to keep team’s title bid alive. And having won eight of twelve away fixtures in La Liga this season, Atletico look a good bet to defeat Celta as well.

Diego Costa, Diego Godin and Arda Turan are all banned, whereas Javi Manquillo and Tiago Mendes miss out through injury.


While showing a lot of improvement of late, Celta Vigo have largely struggled to match Spain’s top sides and they clearly face an uphill task against Atletico Madrid. Los Colchoners boast an impressive away record and they have sufficient strength in depth to cover for the absentees.

Top pick: Away win   1.95 (19/20) @ BetVictor

Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score   2.00 (1/1) @ Coral

Alternative pick 2: Atletico/Atletico   3.00 (2/1) @ bet365

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