Eibar and Celta Vigo begin their La Liga 2020-21 campaigns facing off against each other at the tiny Ipurua stadium, with both sides looking to bounce back from disappointing campaigns the previous time around.
Upstarts Eibar's stay in La Liga has been a six-year, long-lasting miracle, although many are tipping the Basque side to finally go down after a tough campaign last time around, where they finished 14th.
The despondent outlook for Eibar follows the loss of Fabian Orellana and Charles in the transfer window, although the club has partially addressed that by bringing in Damian Kadzior from Dinamo Zagreb.
COVID-19 and the international break have served to limit pre-season friendlies, although Eibar looked well-drilled in their 3-0 win over CD Mirandes, but grabbed an undeserved 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao.
Celta have been in promising form in pre-season with a 2-0 win over Deportivo Lugo sandwiched between draws to Sporting Gijon (1-1) and Real Oviedo (2-2).
After a last-gasp relegation escape last year, the Galicians will be glad to take on a new season, and have made promising moves in the transfer market. Emre Mor has returned from his loan spell, with Renato Tapia and Nolito arriving from Feyenoord and Sevilla to strengthen the first XI significantly.
Eibar vs Celta Vigo Head-to-Head
Games between the two teams are often one-sided affairs, although their most recent result was a goalless draw at Balaidos. Celta have managed three wins in the last six matches, while Eibar have won twice, with wins for both clubs coming at home.
Eibar form guide: LWLDD
Celta Vigo form guide: LDDWD
Eibar vs Celta Vigo Team News
Jose Luis Mendilibar has issues at left-back, with Jose Angel out long term and Cote occupying the injury room as well. New signing Rafa Soares ought to start at left-back, while the rest of the squad will have a settled look.
Kike Garcia ought to partner Sergi Enrich in attack, as Mendilibar looks for Takashi Inui and Pedro Leon to pick up the burden of Fabian Orellana and Charles' departure.
Injuries: Jose Angel, Cote
Doubtful: Anaitz Arbilla
Oscar Garcia has a goalkeeping headache to deal with at the start of the season, with both first-choice keepers out through injury, which means a start for Ivan Villar in goal. New signing Renato Tapia ought to make his debut, while Denis Suarez has been declared fit to play.
Emre Mor has been in fine form in pre-season and should join experienced new signing Nolito and talisman Iago Aspas in attack.
Injuries: Sergio Alvarez, Ruben Blanco
Eibar vs Celta Vigo Predicted Lineups
Eibar predicted XI (4-4-2):
Marko Dmitrovic (GK); Rober Correa, Paulo Oliveira, Pedro Bigas, Rafa Soares; Pedro Leon, Pape Diop, Edu Exposito, Takashi Inui; Kike Garcia, Sergi Enrich
Celta Vigo predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Ivan Villar (GK); Hugo Mallo, Joseph Aidoo, Nestor Araujo, Lucas Olaza; Renato Tapia, Fran Beltran; Emre Mor, Denis Suarez, Nolito; Iago Aspas
Eibar vs Celta Vigo Prediction
Eibar's traditional home form coupled with Celta's disastrous away form over the last two seasons point to an obvious result. However, Eibar have seen top goal threats Fabian Orellana and Charles depart ahead of the season and may lack firepower.
Celta will be fresh at the start of the new season and with Emre Mor back at the club firing alongside Iago Aspas and Nolito, they might finally put the hoodoo of their away form behind them.
Prediction: Eibar 1-2 Celta VigoPublished 10 Sep 2020, 17:33 IST