Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid

Balaidos, it’s good to see you again. We have anticipated you.

Although Real Club Celta de Vigo’s official home is Balaidos, it is currently more than that. Balaidos is currently Spain’s center of football craziness; it’s a place where nothing is off-limits and where, well, there’s something in the grass.

That wasn’t the situation in March, but it is now. In a match here a few months back, Rayo Vallecano started off with a goal advantage and lost by five goals less than an hour later. a location where Real Madrid and the hosts engaged in a game of “Who wants to leave more space in midfield?” last season. a place where Las Palmas and Celta recently performed.

Yes, that is Balaidos for you at the moment.

It appears that this Vigo stadium has transformed into a location where forwards are handed a crate of Red Bull before the game, where midfielders are respectfully requested to move aside, as well as where defenders are told to carefully place their minds on the dressing room floor before being sent onto the field while wearing blindfolds and handcuffs. Undoubtedly high on hallucinogens as well.

And what about that? It’s wonderful. There is currently no place in La Liga like it. Therefore, save your seats since Real Madrid will be there on Saturday. There will be more insanity.

But is it?

Had this been Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid traveling to Spain’s north-west, the advice would have been to avoid coffee on Saturday—this contest would have been an almighty caffeine hit on its own. But this isn’t Ancelotti’s Madrid; it’s Rafa Benitez’s. And Benitez’s Madrid is different. Eleven games into the new season, there’s a completely new emphasis evident in Los Blancos under the new boss.

But to be fair to Benitez, calling this group “defensive” isn’t a realistic assessment. Maybe “measured” would be a better word. And that’s not a bad thing, as we said following Wednesday’s tie with Paris Saint-Germain.

Others are also noticing this.
At his pre-game press conference on Friday, Celta Vigo manager Eduardo Berizzo stated that “[Benitez] has found the balance between attack and defense, which makes [Madrid] even stronger.” He’ll also be aware that his team is capable of testing that equilibrium.

 

For Madrid, as they did on Wednesday in Paris, they’ll enter this contest significantly depleted by injuries, but it’s the newly found dash of conservatism and systematic balance that the visitors can turn to. Indeed, the men from the capital are unlikely to make this a gung-ho duel and will look to bring a sense of order and sanity to a ground where such qualities are typically scarce.

The only bad part? Balaidos might be a little less mad.

Match Details

Date: Saturday, October 24

Time: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. EDT/4 p.m. local

Venue: Balaidos, Vigo, Spain

TV Info: Sky Sports (UK—delayed broadcast), beIN Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), beIN Sports CONNECT (U.S.)

Form Lines

 The last 6 Results in All Competitions (most recent first)
 Celta Vigo  Real Madrid
 W: 2-1 vs. Villarreal  D: 0-0 vs. Paris Saint-Germain
 D: 0-0 vs. Getafe  W: 3-0 vs. Levante
 D: 1-1 vs. Eibar  D: 1-1 vs. Atletico Madrid
 W: 4-1 vs. Barcelona  W: 2-0 vs. Malmo
 W: 2-1 vs. Sevilla  D: 0-0 vs. Malaga
 D: 3-3 vs. Las Palmas  W: 2-1 vs. Athletic Bilbao

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