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Preview: Celta Vigo to give stern test to Real Madrid

Modified 25 Apr 2015, 17:22 IST
Ronaldo Celta
Real Madrid emerged 3-0 victors the last time these sides met

Vigo, April 25 (IANS): Spanish football club Real Madrid face a potentially complicated away game on Sunday as they bid to overhaul Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti's side, fresh from their 1-0 triumph over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, must travel to the north-west of Spain to face an in-form and confident Celta Vigo, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid were handed perhaps the easiest of the semi-final ties in Champions League on Friday when they were drawn to face Juventus, but those two European matches sandwich the most difficult matches which remain for them in the domestic run in -- a home game against Valencia and a trip to Sevilla which means they cannot afford to drop any points here.

Ancelotti's side have the advantage of knowing Barcelona's result before kick-off given that Barcelona play away to Espanyol on Saturday. Depending what happens in Cornella, Real Madrid could find themselves kicking-off five points off the top of the table and needing three points to keep in touch or with the chance of going to the top should Barcelona lose or draw.

Ancelotti has to overcome a series of injuries for Sunday with Luka Modric out for the rest of the season with his twisted knee ligament and Gareth Bale sidelined for at least a fortnight due to a torn calf muscle.

Karim Benzema is also out due to a knee problem which will take longer to cure than at first expected while Sergio Ramos is also doubtful with physical problems.

That means Javier Hernandez will get another chance in attack following his heroics on Wednesday night while Rafael Varane and Pepe remain in central defence and Asier Illaramendi could finally getΒ his chance in midfield after being overlooked midweek.

Celta, meanwhile, still maintain options of finishing seventh and qualifying for Europe next season and their mobile attack of Nolito, Larrivey and teenager Santi Mina will prove a stern test for Real.

Published 25 Apr 2015, 17:00 IST
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